Every couple of weeks one of the big analytics companies, be they for activations, browser demographic, or any of a hundred hundred other variables, releases metrics regarding the smartphone world. This year in particular has been an unbelievable year of growth, not just for Android, but the smartphone market itself. The super-smart people at BSN have been patient enough to throw the four biggest data pushers into the same sheet and see how the numbers look.
Gartner, Strategy Analytics, IDC, and Canalys make up the “big four” used by BSN to generate their own report. These guys all record data on smartphone sales and active OS deployment. These numbers, separately, are usually considered both accurate and useful for researching a companies next business move. Together, they provide infinite data on the subject. This time last year, the smartphone market had seen one of it’s biggest years ever with the sale of 41 million smartphones. That number is child’s play compared to 2010, where we have seen the smartphone market explode into nearly double that amount, with 80 million smartphones sold. Now, the big question on my mind when I read that is, which phones?
- Symbian [Nokia] 29.0 million for 36%
- Android [Google] 20.0 million for 25%
- iOS [Apple] 14.1 million for 18%
- Blackberry OS [RIM] 12.4 million for 16%
- Windows Mobile [Microsoft] 2.4 million for 3%
- Bada [Samsung] 1.3 million for 2%
Others 0.8 million for 1%
TOTAL: 80 million
As was pointed out by BSN, this is the first time Symbian has been below 40%, and not just by a little bit either. Android’s explosive rise to the top has taken chunks out of RIM, Symbian, and Windows Mobile, but has done very little to affect Apple comparatively. Apple has essentially reached a standstill in the smartphone war, while Android begins to consume everything else around them. So, what about manufacturers? Which Android devices are we buying?
Aside from Sony, these numbers were not a big surprise to me, and yet another reason that I support the rumors that the next developer phone could very well be a Samsung phone. Samsung has managed to grow into second place in less than a year with their Galaxy S line, and shows no signs of slowing. Motorola, on the other hand, seems content this quarter with releasing what could easily be described as phones geared towards High School aged users.
Individually, all of the reporting groups were already telling us that Android was climbing to the top. Together, with the help of TomiAhonen Consulting, we now see that these numbers tell us two very distinct and important facts. First, the smartphone market will continue to explode into this holiday season and into the next year. Second, Android’s growth and popularity is no-longer suspect or rumor, it’s fact. A fact that developers will be unable to ignore any longer.