There are numerous news reports of phones with the Google Android OS installed now becoming the world’s best selling mobile devices. This comes from Canalys which is a market research company and is reporting that worldwide shipments of Android OS mobile phones has increased to the point where the Symbian (Nokia) OS mobile phones has slipped into 2nd place. Symbian phones have had a lock on 1st place for what seems forever and with this change in position, it appears that Android OS phones are going to hold on to 1st place for the foreseeable future. All of these numbers are based on shipment information that was provided.
In the information provided in the report, Google’s Android OS shipped 33.3 million devices in the 4th quarter of 2010 and Nokia’s Symbian shipped 31 million. If you compare the numbers from the 4th quarter of 2009, Google’s Android shipped 4.7 million and Nokia shipped 23.9 million devices. The increase for Google is significant considering it has been in the market for a short time and is continuing to show signs of rapid growth. Apple remains in 3rd place in the report and has seen excellent growth from 8.7 in the 4th quarter of 2009 to 16.2 million in the 4th quarter of 2010.
One item of interest in the report is the fate of Microsoft OS phones. Microsoft has been reluctant to provide any actual sales results from their Windows Phone 7 and this report may show they are having more problems than they are willing to admit. In the 4th quarter of 2009, they had shipments of 3.9 million devices and in the 4th quarter of 2010, they shipped 3.1 million. They were the only one in the top 5 listed in the report who lost ground when they should have seen in an increase in shipments. Obviously, this report does not spell good news for them.
With the ever changing landscape of mobile phones and the changes from vendor phone software to companies producing mobile OS’s for manufacturers, the measurements make it difficult to look at things the same way as in the past. Nokia as a manufacturer and software OS is still in the number one spot at 28%, but with companies producing software that many different manufacturers use, it presents challenges as to how to present the information in a fair way. Things are no longer an apples to apples comparison and the end result is that the days of single mobile and OS as a single company are going to be forever ruled over by the likes of an Android type OS.