Android beats iPhone Q4 market share; Nokia, Microsoft lag

iPhone share slips below Android, but is all as it seems? Microsoft slips behind; Nokia's death-march continues.

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By Richi Jennings. February 2, 2011.

Google's Android market share was 32.9% in Q4 of 2010, passing the iPhone at 30.6%. Microsoft actually sold fewer units than last year. Nokia was relegated to the "others" category. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers are fascinated by Android's 615% annual growth.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention the Worst Ice Skater Ever?..


Jacqui Cheng runs the numbers:

33.3 million Android devices shipped worldwide during the fourth quarter 2010 ... leaving Nokia, Apple and RIM in the dust. ... Canalys tracked a total of 101.2 million smartphone shipments during the quarter ... an 89 percent growth year-on-year.


All platforms tracked by Canalys saw growth ... except for Microsoft. ... Apple came in third with a market share number of 16 percent ... RIM came in fourth place with a market share of 14.4 percent ... Microsoft's share dropped from 7.2 percent to 3.1 percent.

Ben Woods quotes a quotable quote:

Figures show that over the course of the 2010 global smartphone shipments increased by nearly 80 percent in comparison with 2009. ... "The speed with which the market has recovered has required real commitment and innovation from vendors and they have risen to the challenge," Canalys vice president and principal analyst Chris Jones said.


However, Jones says that the year ahead will bring a number of changes and that vendors cannot afford to be complacent.

Rory Cellan-Jones says it "paints an amazing story":

Nokia, after all, invented the whole idea of a phone as a mini-computer more than a decade ago, with its fabulously expensive Communicator. ... So a grim story for Nokia, which ... has seen its market dominance evaporate in just a couple of years. ... There will again be speculation that Symbian is for the chop, and Nokia could do the unthinkable - and switch to Android.

Preston Gralla continues his Microsoft-bothering:

More bad news for Windows Phone 7 sales.


In Windows Phone 7's defense, it wasn't available for the entire quarter. ... Still, 2 percent market share is a dismal showing.

And Jonny Evans finds the numbers don't conform to his world-view:

Certainly, I agree Android has developed remarkable marketshare very fast. It has given many handset makers a chance to remain relevant a little while longer. ... [But] marketshare is meaningless without sustainability.


Handset vendors ... at least they have something to sell. Without Android, they'd already be finished in the mobile handset space. ... Meanwhile in Apple valley, happy users equate to more future iPhone sales. ... Android is reality distortion.

But Daniel Eran Dilger gets suspicious:

The report's numbers included a footnote saying the "Google numbers" "relate to Android, as well as the OMS and Tapas platform variants." ... OMS is the basis of China Mobile's OPhone platform, which was originally based on Android software but adapted. ... Tapas OS, is also derived from Android but similarly does nothing to benefit Google.


Describing the Chinese OMS as a "variant" of Google's Android platform is a troublesome stretch ... [it's] not only "not Google," it's also incompatible with Android apps, and apparently more compatible with Windows Mobile. ... Calling Tapas a version of Android is like calling Baidu a version of Google or Youku a version of YouTube. Like OMS, Tapas is an Android competitor.

Meanwhile, Chinmoy Kanjilal smells one of Katie's talking points:

Every time someone releases stats on Android, Apple is owned and fires back with some excuse. ... This time, when Android has swept past Nokia and amounts for as many Apple and Blackberry phones, Apple claims that the figures includes Chinese variants of Android.


Apple just cannot stand the Android growth and wants to take every chance to speak against it.


And Finally...

Worst Ice Skater Ever?

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Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

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