Google’s Android has topped Apple’s iOS in worldwide smartphone operating system sales during the fiscal second quarter, analysts announced Thursday. The lapping of the iPhone maker came as smartphones saw a 50 percent jump in second-quarter sales.
Android jumped to 17.2 percent of the worldwide smartphone operating system market, selling 10.6 million units, up from 1.8 percent a year ago with 755.2 thousands units sold. Apple’s iOS, by contrast, showed a smaller increase of market share, up just 1.2 percent from the same period last year, when it stood at 13 percent of the global smartphone operating system market.
In the U.S., the Android platform displaced the RIM OS to become the No. 1 smartphone operating system in the United States, Gartner announced.
“A non-exclusive strategy that produces products selling across many communications service providers, and the backing of so many device manufacturers, which are bringing more attractive devices to market at several different price points, were among the factors that yielded [Android's] growth this quarter,” Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, said.
Apple maintained its No. 3 position in worldwide smartphone sales and its No. 7 spot in the worldwide mobile device market.
“Apple’s sales would have been higher if it had not had to face tight inventory management in preparation for the arrival of the iPhone 4 at the end of the second quarter of 2010,” Milanesi added. A wider global rollout of the iPhone 4 should keep Apple’s sales juggernaut going throughout the second half of this year, according to the analyst.
Although smartphones grew by 50 percent during the second quarter, to become 19 percent of overall mobile device sales globally, sales by traditional smartphone-makers slipped, while newcomers made their first appearance on the leaderboard.
HTC, boosted by the popularity of Android, at No. 8 for the first time made it into the top 10 list. “This reflects the popularity of its Android portfolio, but also a more aggressive branding strategy compared to the same period in 2009,” according to Gartner.
While cell phone giant Nokia remained in the top spot, its market share fell to 34.2 percent in the second quarter, down from 36.8 percent during the same period last year. Likewise, LG dropped to 9 percent of the global market, down from 10.7 percent in 2009. Motorola, maker of the Droid, saw its mobile devices share fall to 2.8 percent, down from 5.6 percent a year ago.
On the other hand, Apple’s global share rose to 2.7 percent on sales of 8.7 million handsets, up from 1.9 percent of the market and 5.4 million sales.