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Gartner: Android has overtaken iPhone worldwide

updated 08:20 am EDT, Thu August 12, 2010

Analysts say Android passing iOS, near BlackBerry

Android is now larger than the iPhone on the world stage, analysts at Gartner said today. Google's phone platform jumped to 10.6 million phones sold, or enough to overtake the iPhone and take 17.2 percent of the market. The researchers believe Apple sold more iPhones than it shipped, at 8.47 million, but the higher number was still enough to put it at fourth place with 14.2 percent.

The biggest losers were those pushing established mobile operating systems; Symbian shipments didn't increase enough to prevent a steep collapse from 51 percent a year ago to 41.2 peercent today, while RIM's BlackBerry growth also wasn't enough to stop a slight slide to 18.2 percent, or just within striking distance of Android. Microsoft's deliberate decision to reboot its mobile strategy has seen Windows Mobile sink from 9.3 percent to just five percent, while the share of pure Linux phones has been cut in half to 2.4 percent.

Among individual cellphone makers of all kinds, Apple is keeping its lead over HTC secure and is now large enough at 2.7 percent to be within a tenth of a point of fading Motorola. It and Sony Ericsson faced the steepest relative drops as both of them are transitioning to smartphones, but Nokia and LG also lost share as their weaknesses in smartphones cost them share across the board.

Gartner expected a significant change in the summer, as launches were likely to shift the landscape in dramatic form. Apple would likely have had higher share if not for supply limits on the iPhone 4 launch and is due to grow. Such optimism wasn't reserved for RIM: the BlackBerry Torch is more for workers and will mostly just keep customers from abandoning an aging platform.

Apple is also likely to overtake Motorola and Sony Ericsson, as their transitions to smartphones are still underway and may see them continue to shed sales of high volume but unprofitable low-end phones. In the longer term, a Verizon iPhone could mute Android's push as some Verizon subscribers may opt out of the Droid line for an iPhone instead.

The results don't reflect the total footprint of each mobile OS, as some are used beyond phones; Apple's total iOS share is much higher as it includes the 3.27 million iPads sold in the same period as well as the iPod touch.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Multiple Phones and Carriers

    Not really a fair comparison, since there are multiple models and carriers for the Android, whereas the iPhone is limited to basically two models, differentiated only by memory (so it is really one model).

    That being said, Android is good for the iPhone. Maybe it will push Apple to provide more innovative features and better software.

    A coworker has an Android phone, and it is very nice (he has the Droid). The biggest complain he has is that it is a little difficult to configure and accessing the apps and system menus is a bit awkward. It is not as easy to use as the iPhone, but it does some thing amazingly well.

    Maybe we will see expandable memory for the iPhone :)

    Comment buried. Show
  1. chas_m




    This is a non-story, and media outlets everywhere should be ashamed for running it.

    First of all, you are comparing an operating system (Android) to hardware (the iPhone). That's stupid: it should be Android vs. iOS.

    Of course, if one did that, then the story wouldn't exist: iOS devices whomp the c*** out of Android, and there is at least one more iOS device yet to be released this year.

    But let's be fair and just limit it to smartphones. Fine. Android is available for at least a half-dozen phones, and I'm probably underestimating that badly given how fast new models of phones come out. iOS for the iPhone is only available on one device: the iPhone.

    So this comparison actually doesn't mean anything at all: of course multiple popular phones are going out sell one particular brand.

    Furthermore, the fact that the iPhone *by itself* sells nearly as many phones per quarter as all COMBINED Android phones actually speaks volumes about what a powerhouse the iPhone is.

    This is just plain old bad journalism.

  1. luckyday

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Waaaa waaaa waaaaa

    Cheer up kids. Who wants ice cream?

  1. dom2cool

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why are they surprised by this? i personally dont think it should be a matter of OS the phone runs but the phone sales, how many more iPhones have been sold than a droid or for that any other single handset that runs Android. of course the OS will sell more than iOS its on multiple handsets not just one! it should be iphone vs droid or whatever the iphones nearest competitor is rather than iPhone vs Android :/

  1. tsmelker

    Joined: Dec 1969


    If it weren't' for the iPhone...

    there wouldn't be an 'Android'. The fact that these 'analysts' are so quick (and paid so much) to point out how this-or-that smartphone is beating the iPhone is proof positive that the iPhone is the standard. Like it or not, people, Apple has gotten the brass ring again with the iPhone, and everyone is scrambling to try and beat it.

    As for the OS-to-OS comparison, chas_m, bear in mind that companies have been unfairly comparing Apple's products to others that are not really in the same category- Mac-to-PC being the main one. Apple is really in a class all its own- it's a technology company not a hardware or software company.

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Microsoft is falling behind in mobile

    Microsoft wishes they are in Android's shoes now. This is what Microsoft should focus on, the OS, instead of software and hardware like Zune and Kin which failed horribly. Google knows hardware is not their things and they are heading the right direction with their OS.

    Amazing how thing changes. A decade ago, Palm and Microsoft smartphones are the only players. Now it's iOS and Android reign. An MP3/Computer maker and a search engine company become phone makers caught everyone off guard.

  1. rombe3jr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple Profits - Google Just Preserves Revenue

    For every handset Apple sells they make a ridiculous profit margin. Google on the other hand has given away its OS, Android for free. Essentially all they will do is preserve the Ad revenue they earn from google searches on more mobile devices. And now Google is taking sides with Verizon because the FCC doesn't have the balls to impose net neutrality. They just want to make sure Google Search results with AdWords has bandwidth priority over wireless networks.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple will not catch Android, they will regain 3rd

    I've been saying Apple would slide to 4th as the trends have shown for a while they would be surpassed by a surging Android Platform, and probably before they themselves surpass RIM and Nokia.

    Ultimately Apple should be 2nd, just as they are 2nd in the overall pc market. 2nd will be quite profitable, but it will b e a kind of profitable, high end niche.

    I don't predict much for RIM or Nokia, despite the fact that Nokia is still a very strong brand, and their move to Meego is the right move - the issue is that Meego will be maturing as a platform, somewhat a few years too late.

    RIM did the right thing by purchasing OS maker QNX, by getting the interim bump OS 6 out - to try and prolong their platform until the QNX goodness comes into play. They did faulter by not doing a high spec'd phone.

    But overall RIM's moves aren't dumb - its just the solutions will also finally be coming to full fruition quite late.

    Android is winning this all the way, with Apple set to play the role of arch nemesis, once again.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Multiple Phones and Carriers

    Not really a fair comparison, since there are multiple models and carriers for the Android, whereas the iPhone is limited to basically two models, differentiated only by memory (so it is really one model).

    Sorry, but there are two iPhone models, three if you count memory differences . Apple still offers the iPhone 3GS as well as the iPhone 4.

    This also means, BTW, that Apple themselves are selling phones of different capabilities. Wow, just like the complaint of all those different Android phones!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Non-story

    Truthfully, it seems the only people who care about this 'story' or 'non-story' are the iDefenders who, for some reason, feel threatened by the news. Why does anyone care if apple is the 'leader' or not in sales. If they fall far behind, we'll be reminded that Apple didn't want to rule the market anyway, just have a small piece of it. Plus that market share isn't everything (look at Macs vs. PC sales, etc). So why does it matter?

    This is just plain old bad journalism.

    This was NOT bad journalism (did someone actually state that on MacNN?????). Pretty much everything in your post would have been called bad journalism, since it is obvious you didn't even bother reading the article you were criticizing.

    The article and analysis is comparing phone OS market share as well as device maker shares. It points out that Apple's sales would be higher if not for supply constraints. It makes the point at the end that it is only looking at phone share, not OS share, otherwise the iOS share would be much higher compared to the others. And it even mentions how Motorola and Sony are next up to be crushed by Apple in sales.

    The tables themselves are perfectly clear, as the first one describes OS usage (why no complaints about Symbian being first on the list, or did you just not complain about it because they weren't mentioned in the article title?), the second on handset makers (without regard to smart phone or not).

    How exactly, then, is any of this bad journalism? Or are you demanding that every story have an Apple slant that explains every statistic that does not basically state "Apple #1" so people understand that apple really is #1 in all facets of the phone industry?

    Or is it, again, you just saw a headline and felt the need to rant out against anyone who would dare write an article in which someone not quite reading it themselves might be inclined to think that Apple doesn't have the most popular device in the world?

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