Smartphone sales soar 96 per cent

Android and iOS big winners but Symbian retains top spot

Huge rise as Gartner research shows Android is closing in on top smartphone spot.

Smartphone sales have risen an astonishing 96 per cent year-on-year, according to new research by analyst types Gartner. The global figures look at the third quarter of 2010, suggesting that one-in-five of all phones sold in that period were smartphones.

The big winners are undoubtedly Android and iOS. Google’s mobile colossus has soared by an epic 1,439 per cent year-on-year, its share rising to 25.5 per cent from a mere 3.5 per cent. That takes it into second place in the smartphone charts.

iOS has jumped to number three, ahead of RIM, even though its market share has slipped from 17.1 to 16.4 per cent. That fall is not as bad as the Canadian mobile maker, which has dropped from 20.7 to 14.8 per cent. iOS in this case only covers the iPhone, not the iPad and iPod touch, showing Apple is still doing the business when it comes to selling phones. Indeed, separate stats show it’s now the fourth biggest overall phone maker in the world behind Nokia, Samsung and LG. Mighty impressive seeing as it only flogs two phones, and both cost a fortune.

The figures make grim reading for Symbian, however. Sales of phones packing the OS are up, but its share has fallen from 44.6 to 36.6 per cent. It seems recent analyst predictions that Android would become number one smartphone OS in the next few years were spot on. If this rate of growth continues for Google, it’s a good bet that this time next year it’ll be sitting top of the pile.

With a string of new Android phones surely on their way as part of the imminent jump to Gingerbread, Google is in a great position. But overall, there’s no denying that 2010 has been the year the smartphone finally took over.

Via Unwired View