updated 08:10 am EDT, Thu May 19, 2011
Android up to 36pc as Symbian, Windows collapse
A breakdown of phone share in early 2011 by Gartner has given Android another large leap in share while providing a rare direct estimate of Microsoft's actual Windows Phone sales. About 36.27 million Android devices shipped in the first quarter of 2011 and hit 36 percent, more than triple its share at the start of 2010. Microsoft meanwhile collapsed from 6.8 percent share a year ago to 3.6 percent as Windows Phone did little to offset a slight dip in phones to 3.66 million, just 1.6 million of which were modern Windows Phone devices.
The figure, which represented less than 44 percent of Microsoft's sales, was a reflection of a lack of interest from phone makers, Gartner said. Most that weren't also making their own OS preferred to focus on Android. Windows Phone gains were for now counting on Microsoft buying market share through its deal with Nokia, which may not produce results until early 2012.
The only other company to gain market share was Apple, whose iPhone in more than doubling shipments managed to move up to 16.8 percent. All of Android's gains were at the expense of other platforms. Nokia's Symbian fell apart and dropped from 44.2 percent to just 27.4 percent, knocking it out of the top spot. RIM was also overtaken by Apple as its slower growth saw it ship 13 million BlackBerrys and push it down from 19.7 percent share to just 12.9 percent.
When split by individual phone manufacturers, the results were more favorable for Apple, which moved up to being the fourth-largest phone maker in the world at 3.9 percent. Nokia, Samsung, and LG all lost share as any smartphone gains were more than offset by slumps in their basic phone sales. Android specialists like ZTE and HTC moved up quickly, although Motorola and Sony Ericsson were again hurt by their previous attachment to basic phones and were now smaller than HTC.