Google-powered Android phones and iPhones are both gobbling up market share. The combined worldwide market share of both operating systems reached 25 percent in the first quarter, up from 12 percent the year before, according to Gartner. The iPhone still has a bigger share, at 15.4 percent (up 5 points), but Android is catching up fast with 9.6 percent (up 8 points). All other smartphones lost relative share during the quarter, even RIM Blackberries, although they still grew in absolute numbers (see table below)
Android is now the fourth largest smartphone operating system, displacing Windows Mobile, which is now No. 5. The iPhone OS is No. 3, RIM is No. 2, and Symbian is still No. 1 on a worldwide basis. If you look at all mobile phone sales, RIM is No. 4 with 3.4 percent share, and the iPhone is No. 7 with 2.7 percent share.
While Android is rising faster than the iPhone in relative share, it is still trailing in absolute numbers. Gartner estimates consumers bought about 8.4 million iPhones in the first quarter, compared to 5.2 million Android phones. Apple sold 4.9 million more iPhones in the first quarter than the year before, while Android sales were up by 4.6 million units.
Can Android sales catch up to the iPhone?
Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 1Q10 (Thousands of Units)
|1Q10 Market Share (%)||
|1Q09 Market Share (%)|
|Research In Motion||10,552.6||19.4||7,533.6||20.6|
|Microsoft Windows Mobile||3,706.0||6.8||3,738.7||10.2|
Source: Gartner (May 2010)