Android widens lead over Apple

Comeback hopes: Microsoft NZ boss Paul Muckleston & Nokia ANZ MD Chris Carr

Mobile phones running Google Android software extended their market share lead over Apple's iPhone during the fourth quarter of 2011, market research outfit Gartner says.

Apple had a boom quarter on the back of the new iPhone 4S, selling more than 35 million handsets, double that of the year-ago quarter.

Yet Android-based smartphones (made by Samsung, Motorola, Sony, HTC, Huawei, LG and others) also more than doubled sales to maintain their collective majority market share.

The Android camp's fragmentation did mean that Apple registered the highest sales of any single smartphone maker.

And, like a recent IDC survey, Gartner found Apple is now number three in the cellphone market as a whole.

Apple and Android's success was at the expense of BlackBerry maker RIM and Nokia, whose smartphone share halved over the period (although it is in the process of mounting a fightback with its new Microsoft Windows-based handsets that will be released in New Zealand next month).

Microsoft New Zealand country manager Paul Muckleston told NBR that so far Windows Phone smartphones have been a hit with a niche audience. Nokia was still the largest mobile phone maker overall (see second table). The Nokia-Microsoft partnership would help Microsoft's mobile software pushing into the mainstream, and revive Nokia's smartphone fortunes.

With the three-way fight between Apple, Android and Nokia/Microsoft helping to grow the smartphone market overall, the phone companies win either way. 

Global smartphone sales to end users reached 115 million units in the third quarter of 2011, up 42% from the third quarter of 2010, Gartner said.

Nokia's Windows Phone-based Lumia series has sold more than 1 million since its November launch in Europe, Nokia Australia-New Zealand MD Chris Carr told NBR - still modest compared to the numbers clocked by Apple and Android, but not bad from a cold start.

ABOVE: Smartphone sales (000s) by operating system software, fourth quarter 2011. Click to enlarge. Android = Google, iOS = Apple, Research in Motion = BlackBerry maker RIM. Bada software is used by Samsung, although the company centres its main smartphone effort around Android. Source: Gartner. 

Click table to enlarge.

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11 Comments & Questions

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Wait a minute. Nokia sells 462 million phones in 2010? It has 29% of the market share??

That can't be right.

[Note there's a large "Other" category - CK]

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The question foremost on my mind re: Nokia - will the new phones have "Snake" on them?

Seriously, I don't think I've seen someone with a Nokia in several years.

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Most of Nokia's business is residual sales of it's so called "feature phones" (i.e not "smart phones") running the open source Symbian OS - a few years ago, prior to the introduction of smartphones like the iPhone and Android phones, Symbian powered the vast majority of phones and Nokia reigned supreme... They've slipped substantially since.

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It is a bit rich for Muckleston to suggest that Microsoft/Nokia are in a 3 way fight for marketshare with Apple and Android given that Samsung's Bada platform (available only on one phone model, as I understand it) has, to date, significantly outsold the range of different phone models by different manufacturers running MS' WindowsPhone7 OS. This poor performance is despite MS' $0.5billion marketing blitz to launch their phone platform.

And let's not forget that, despite flagging fortunes of late, RIM's Blackberry is still outselling WindowsPhone7 10 to 1.

I think it's a bit early for MS to assert that MS/Nokia are even in the right stadium, much less in the game.

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Agreed. Microsoft sales has less than 2% of the market and their unit sales DROPPED from 3,419.300 to 2,759,000. Now many of those lost sales came from defunct Windows Mobile phones. But it an absolute embarrassment to Microsoft that their WP7 OS can't even keep even with the losses suffered by their now obsolete Windows Mobile OS.

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News from the Future:

Last of the Apple Products Sent to eWaste bin

Http://AppleHaters.blogspot.com

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"With the three-way fight between Apple, Android and Nokia/Microsoft helping to grow the smartphone market overall, the phone companies win either way."

Yes because Microsofts licencing agreements with HTC, Samsung and other manufactures means that now Microsoft collects license fees on 50% of Android devices sold.

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Nokia/Microsoft are definitely not part of a 3-way fight with Android and iOS. Windows Mobile still outsells Windows Phone 7 and estimates of WP7 becoming the #2 OS are based on hopes and dreams.

The dark horse is the almalgamation between Bada and Tizen (formerly Meego, an amalgamation between Nokia's Maemo OS and Intel's Moblin OS).

RIP Sony Ericsson which now no longer exists as the Sony buyout of Ericsson's 50% share has been approved.

At one stage SE held 3rd position among manufacturers and 12% market share with an average selling price Nokia could only dream of. Then the iPhone 3G arrived along with 3rd party iOS apps and Sony Ericsson's whole niche of mid to high end featurephones dried up overnight. Adopting Android did not help as SE's strengths were it's individual styling and world leading user interface both of which got lost in a sea of Android sameness. Being too slow and inflexible to complete with Samsung and HTC was the final nail in the coffin.

Nokia is in the same boat only 1 yr behind. I'm sure Stephen Elop is preparing the Microsoft buyout plan by now because the Lumia sales figures stink and threaten to taint sales of Windows 8 later this year.

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Nokia/Microsoft are definitely not part of a 3-way fight with Android and iOS. Windows Mobile still outsells Windows Phone 7 and estimates of WP7 becoming the #2 OS are based on hopes and dreams.

The dark horse is the almalgamation between Bada and Tizen (formerly Meego, an amalgamation between Nokia's Maemo OS and Intel's Moblin OS).

RIP Sony Ericsson which now no longer exists as the Sony buyout of Ericsson's 50% share has been approved.

At one stage SE held 3rd position among manufacturers and 12% market share with an average selling price Nokia could only dream of. Then the iPhone 3G arrived along with 3rd party iOS apps and Sony Ericsson's whole niche of mid to high end featurephones dried up overnight. Adopting Android did not help as SE's strengths were it's individual styling and world leading user interface both of which got lost in a sea of Android sameness. Being too slow and inflexible to complete with Samsung and HTC was the final nail in the coffin.

Nokia is in the same boat only 1 yr behind. I'm sure Stephen Elop is preparing the Microsoft buyout plan by now because the Lumia sales figures stink and threaten to taint sales of Windows 8 later this year.

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Apple needs to open up the access to ADOBE
FLASH PLAYER!!!! Steve is gone now !!!
( just saying'!!)....

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Yes! In related developments, they need to open up the access to HTML 1.0, which has the same level of active development that Adobe is currently putting toward Flash. (You must have missed the memo where Adobe has cancelled further support for Flash on mobile devices, and is instead pushing HTML5.) - Tim

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