Reports: US Android Growth Explosive; RIM, Microsoft Suffering
Two separate reports released today both suggest complete Android dominance in the United States as the 2010 holiday season approaches, with iPhones still the single best selling device. Highly-regarded analyst firm NPD Group shared its data showing Google’s operating system with a 44% US market share in the third quarter, up from just 3% during the same period a year ago. Devices running the BlackBerry OS were the biggest victims in the NPD report, with RIM’s domestic market share dropping from 46% to just 22%.
Numbers from Canalys — which measured shipments as opposed to sellthrough — were very similar, stating that Android-powered handsets accounted for 43.6% of shipped smartphones in the US for the quarter, with Apple and RIM trailing at 26.2% and 24.2%, respectively. The 9.1 million Android phones shipped in the quarter represented an astounding 1,309% increase over Q3 2009. Microsoft, meanwhile, owned just 3% of domestic shipments, according to Canalys, and NPD did not even bother to include Windows Mobile products in its data set.
“Most of Android’s market share gains have come at the expense of RIM and Windows Mobile, the latter of which had very low share,” revealed NPD Executive Director Ross Rubin. He went on to suggest that while “Windows Phone 7 is a fresh start and provides an engaging, well-integrated experience…Android is made available without licensing fees, supports a broader array of hardware, allows for extensive customization by handsets makers and carriers and is far ahead in the apps race.”
Rubin is only somewhat bullish on Microsoft’s chances at a mobile revival, arguing that “The handset market is critical to Microsoft not only because it is a huge opportunity but because these handset operating systems are increasingly threatening to the mobile part of the PC business. Microsoft does indeed have formidable resources and Windows Phone 7 ties in a wide range of Microsoft products and services, but it’s not clear how many of them will be compelling for consumers. And while the Windows Phone 7 portfolio of devices is strong, we didn’t see a lot of new ground broken in terms of the hardware.”
Oh, and Nokia fans should take some solace in knowing that Symbian is still the worldwide leader in smartphone shipments, according to the Canalys report, despite its failure to make inroads Stateside. In other words, reports of the Symbian Foundation’s death may have been greatly exaggerated.