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May 7, 2011

Android:  The World Just Can’t Get Enough
May 4, 2011

The Android operating system once again topped the smartphone market in the first three months of the year, and for the second quarter in a row, according to research firm Canalys.

With 35.7 million units shipped, Android increased its global hold on the market to 35 percent, Canalys said. Asia Pacific became the largest region, with year-on-year growth of 98 percent, for a total of 37.3 million units. That put Asia Pacific ahead of Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the first time since 2007’s third quarter.

The United States remained the largest country for smartphone shipments, with Apple achieving a share of 31 percent and growth of more than 150 percent year-on-year. Volumes were boosted significantly by shipments of the iPhone 4 with Verizon Wireless, Canalys said. However, Android remained the leading smartphone platform in the United States for the third consecutive quarter, with a 49 percent share. And HTC became the No. 1 Android-based handset in the United States and the second-place smartphone vendor in the country.

Indeed, the Android platform is boosting several manufacturers’ fortunes worldwide.

“HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola and Sony Ericsson drove Android shipments in the first quarter, with each vendor shipping well over 3 million devices,’ said Pete Cunningham, Canalys principal analyst.

Meantime, smartphones continue to dominate the handset sector. Overall shipments worldwide grew 83 percent to 101 million units. Nokia held on to its leadership position, staying ahead of RIM in EMEA and Apple in Asia Pacific. In fact, Asia Pacific became Nokia’s largest region, accounting for 53 percent of its overall shipments.

Nokia, Apple, RIM, Samsung and HTC were the top five global smart phone vendors, just as in the fourth quarter of 2010.

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