Android, iPhone biggest winners in global smartphone battle

RIM's BlackBerry and Windows phones lag, although RIM is doing quite well in South America, Indonesia, and South Africa.

The latest global market-share estimates for smartphones are out. And as we've come to expect from these regular exercises in mobile OS number-crunching, the news is bright for Apple and Google, but a bit bleak for Nokia, Research In Motion (RIM), and Microsoft.

Research firm Canalys released its final smart phone market estimates for the second quarter of 2011, which show that Google's Android mobile operating system now has nearly half of the worldwide smartphone market--48 percent, to be exact. Of the 56 countries Canalys tracks, Android leads in 35 of them.

Nearly 52 million Android-based smartphones shipped in Q2, a staggering 379-percent increase over a year ago. Android has been the top platform by shipments since the fourth quarter of 2010, according to Canalys.

Apple's iOS platform had a stellar second quarter as well. Apple shipped 20.3 million iPhones in the second quarter and grabbed 19 percent of the global market, as iOS passed Nokia’s Symbian platform to take second place.

Perhaps more impressive is the fact that Apple is now the world’s leading individual smart phone vendor, passing longtime leader Nokia.

"With the next-generation iPhone anticipated in Q3, it’s likely that Apple’s position will grow even stronger in the second half of the year,’ said Canalys analyst Chris Jones in a statement.

Nokia in Transition

While Nokia continues to do well in emerging markets, including Brazil, Russia, India, and China, demand for its Symbian-based smartphones is fading fast, particularly in Western Europe, where the manufacturer has been strong in the past, says Canalys analyst Pete Cunningham, who believes Nokia "badly needs" its Windows Phone handsets to launch soon to regain market share.

While Nokia plans to launch a Windows Phone before the end of the year, it will be some time before the Finnish company offers a range of Windows handsets to (hopefully) boost sales volumes.

Microsoft waits for Nokia's first Windows phones, and it also sees its global market share slipping too. Canalys reports that fewer than 1.5 million Microsoft-based smart phones shipped during the second quarter, giving Redmond just 1 percent of the global market--down 52 percent from a year ago.

RIM, meanwhile, fared poorly in North America, where its market share fell to 12 percent, down from 33 percent from a year ago. However, the BlackBerry-maker's global shipments grew 11 percent, and it remained the top vendor in Latin America with a 28-percent share.

To stay competitive globally, RIM needs its upcoming BlackBerry OS 7 to be a hit. But perhaps things aren't as bleak as they seem.

"It’s easy to be negative about BlackBerry in the U.S., but it’s important to remember that in other markets, particularly emerging markets, it continues to see significant interest and uptake of its devices, for example in Indonesia and South Africa where it is the leading smart phone vendor," said Jones.

Contact Jeff Bertolucci via Twitter (@jbertolucci) or at jbertolucci.blogspot.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftsmartphonesNokiaGoogleAppleAndroidwindows phone 7symbianPhonesconsumer electronicsiphone 4

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeff Bertolucci

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?