The recently released smartphone market data for Q1 2011 by research firm Canalys re-affirms earlier predictions of the worldwide acceptance of Android OS, as Google’s software for mobile devices led the market for the second quarter running with a total of 35.7 million units shipped.
The study also provided country-level assessment of the smartphone arena, with Asia Pacific (APAC) becoming the largest market region, accounting for 37.3 million units.
With an impressive 83% rise in total smartphone units shipped over the same period last year, there is little doubt that this communication segment is starting to heat up as more consumers become drawn to multi-purpose devices.
Despite a shrinking of market share from 39% to 24%, Nokia remained at the top of the manufacturer board worldwide with 24.2 million units being shipped. APAC proved to be the Finnish giant’s key region by holding out on 53% of its overall shipments. With strategy realignment underway at Nokia, analysts are waiting to see if it can retain its current leader spot in the coming quarters.
Android’s continued dominance is directly linked with the good performance of key device vendors like HTC, Samsung, Motorola and LG, with each manufacturer shipping over 3 million droid-powered devices in the quarter.
The solid uptake of HTC and Samsung in developed markets of Europe is down to strong branding and development, with analysts believing in enough playing room for multiple operating systems.
Apple remains hot on the heels of Nokia, increasing its market share to 19%. RIM, once the pivotal choice among smartphones, has continued to lose its hold on the market, with a lack of new devices being introduced and the inability to offer something to curb the consumer appetite for touchscreens.
The largest country for smartphone shipments was the U.S., with Apple holding a 31% market share. A 150% boost in growth, year-on-year, was down to the launch of the iPhone 4 and the inclusion of the Verizon Wireless network as one of the operators for the iPhone. However, Android remained the leading smartphone platform in the country with a 49% share, with HTC taking the position of leading Android vendor thanks to a 200% growth over the previous year.
While data does not exist for the local market, the increase in official smartphone launches provides an indication over the approach being adopted by mobile operators in Pakistan. With handsets not being a standard feature of mobile packages here, the last 9 months has seen Windows Phone 7 and Android emerge on the scene as viable replacements to the BlackBerry-dominant market. However, it is evident that Nokia still holds a significant sway that is unlikely to shake over the next year.