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Android grabs 44% of U.S. smartphone OS market

Nov 3, 2010 — by Rick Lehrbaum — 35 views

Consistent with predictions by other mobile phone market analysts, Canalys announced this week that Android-based devices represented the largest OS segment of the U.S. smartphone market in Q3 of 2010, at 44 percent. On a vendor basis, Apple occupied the top spot, at 26 percent.

Nokia leads global market

From the worldwide perspective, meanwhile, Nokia remained the top smartphone provider overall, with 33 percent market share, while Android-based devices collectively accounted for around 25 percent of Q3 shipments, says the Canalys report.

“In Q3 2010, the worldwide smart phone market grew an impressive 95 percent over the same quarter a year ago to 80.9 million shipped units,” adds the market analyst firm. “Nokia retained its leadership position, albeit by a diminished margin, with a 33 precent share of the market,” while “Apple’s healthy performance this quarter saw it achieve a 17 percent share worldwide, a little ahead of RIM, which held a 15 percent share this quarter.”

OS vendor shares of U.S. smartphone market

The table below shows Canalys’s estimates for U.S. smartphone market shares for Q3 of 2010, segmented by OS vendor. (Note: “OHA” stands for Android in the table, since Android is administered by the Open Handset Alliance.)

OS vendor Q3 2010
units shipped
9.1 million
5.5 million
5.1 million
0.6 million
0.6 million
TOTAL 20.9 million 100%

U.S. Smartphone Shipments by OS Vendor, Q3 2010
(source: Canalys)

Within the U.S. market, Apple’s top slot came at RIM’s expense. “iPhone shipments continued unabated,” whereas RIM suffered from the fact that its new smartphone, the Torch, only had about half a quarter to ramp up sales, explained Canalys.

Android coming on strong

Despite the iPhone’s continued momentum, the “plethora” of smartphones running the Android smartphone platform propelled Android into becoming the leading smartphone OS in the U.S. market, Canalys noted.

“Once again this quarter, it was devices running the Android platform that proved the greatest driver of growth in the worldwide market, up 1,309 percent year-on-year from 1.4 million in Q3 2009 to more than 20.0 million units in Q3 2010, forming a quarter of the market share,” observed the analyst firm.

“With Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Sony Ericsson all delivering large numbers of Android devices, and with focused efforts from many other vendors, such as LG, Huawei and Acer, yielding promising volumes, the platform continues to gather momentum in markets around the world,” said Canalys senior analyst Pete Cunningham.

“Android has been well received by the market and in some geographies it is becoming a sought-after consumer brand,” Cunningham continued. “It has rapidly become the platform to watch, and its growing volumes will help to entice developers, ensuring consumers have access to an increasingly rich and vibrant mobile content and application ecosystem.”

“Vendors are now delivering Android devices across a broad range of price points, from high-end products such as the Samsung Galaxy S or HTC Desire, to aggressively priced devices such as the LG GT540 Optimus or the Huawei built Vodafone 845, ensuring that Android devices are available and affordable to consumers on almost any budget,” added Cunningham.

Further information

Additional insight into the worldwide smartphone market, including comments on Nokia’s Symbian and Microsoft’s Windows OSes, is available in the complete announcement of Canalys’s Q3 smartphone market study.

For an interesting perspective on the phenomenal rise of Android as a smartphone OS, read this recent DeviceGuru blog post: The Android invasion cometh: is resistance futile?.

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