Android Overtakes Symbian to Become #1

Google’s Android smartphone operating system finally overtook Nokia’s faltering Symbian in the last quarter to become the top-selling mobile OS.

Figures obtained by research firm Canalys and published by the Guardian show that of the all the phones sold to retailers and mobile networks in the last quarter of 2010, Android sold 32.9 million with Symbian trailing slightly on 31 million.

Apple’s iPhone is still sitting in third-place with 16 million sales for the quarter, down slightly but this is to be expected while people wait for the launch of the next generation iPhone, possibly today or tomorrow.  This is still a very strong sales figure for the company however.

RIM’s Blackberry devices are also down slightly having lost a small amount of market share.  Finally Microsoft’s fledgling smartphone OS, Windows Phone, sits at 3.1 million having only been released half way through the quarter.  This figure also includes sales of the old Windows Mobile however.

According the Guardian, the largest phone markets at the moment are Europe, the Middle-East and Africa with year-on-year growth standing at 90%.  Nokia continues to lead the table in Asia and Africa but is being overtaken by its rivals now in many more markets.

In a statement, a spokesperson from Canalys said…

“2010 has been a fantastic year for the smartphone market. After a difficult 2009, the speed with which the market has recovered has required real commitment and innovation from vendors and they have risen to the challenge,” said Canalys VP and principal analyst Chris Jones. “But vendors cannot afford to be complacent. 2011 is set to be a highly competitive year with vendors looking to use new technology, such as dual-core processors, NFC and 3D displays, to differentiate their products and maintain value.”

In the US Android has three times the market share of RIM and Microsoft’s launch of Windows Phone at the beginning of November in the country saw their market share slip from 8% the year before down to 5%.

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