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Android hits 46 percent global smartphone share, says study

Jul 29, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Android represented a whopping 46.4 percent of global smartphone shipments in Q2 2011, with 34 percent of Android's total coming from Samsung, putting it a close second behind Apple, says ABI Research. The research firm also released a teardown analysis of the HTC Sensation and its highly integrated smartphone processor — the dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260.

Playing the tease, ABI Research tells us that Android represented 46.4 percent of smartphones shipped globally in the second quarter, but does not reveal how the other mobile operating systems fared. Some 47 million Android smartphones shipped in Q2 2011, out of a total of 103 million smartphones, estimates the research firm.

ABI Research does, however, report market share breakdowns by vendor, providing a few more hints on OS share. Apple iOS seems to be cruising, Research in Motion's BlackBerry is slipping, and Nokia's Symbian is dropping like a rock, according to ABI.

Apple posted record shipments in the second quarter with 20.3 million unit, giving it top smartphone OEM position, says ABI Research. The iPhone's success was said to have been driven by the "added distribution muscle of Verizon Wireless and China's growing appetite for premium smartphones."

Right behind Apple, however, is fast growing Samsung, which enjoyed an "amazing" Q2 with approximately 19 million smartphone shipments, most of the based on Android. ABI seems to more or less confirm Samsung's own recent claims that it had shipped over five million Galaxy S II smartphones (pictured) in its first 85 days — and the Android-based phone has yet to reach the U.S.

Although ABI doesn't mention it here, the company also sells phones based on its Bada operating system. Some of these could be classified as smartphones.

"Although Apple's 142 percent year-over-year growth placed it as number one this quarter, Samsung's 500 percent year-over-year growth shows that going forward, the top smartphone OEM position is Samsung's to lose," stated ABI Research Senior Analyst Michael Morgan.

Recent market leader Nokia, which enjoyed a 38 percent share, plunged to 24 percent last quarter, and now sits at only 16 percent share with 16.7 million devices shipped, says ABI. As a result, it has dropped to a third-place standing.

Nokia says it will move over to the Windows Phone platform in 2012. As for today's global Windows Phone and Windows Mobile numbers, ABI is mum.

Fourth place went to Research in Motion (RIM). Although its BlackBerry sales rose internationally, this "was not enough to offset its decline in North America," says ABI. RIM shipped 13.2 million smartphones, representing an 11 percent quarterly drop, says the research firm.

Next up appears to be HTC, which rode the Android train to 11.5 million shipments, showing 113 percent growth year over year. Motorola, however, had only 4.4 million shipments smartphones in Q2, "as sales into APAC (Asia-Pacific) were not enough to offset Motorola's iPhone-induced decline at Verizon Wireless," says the research firm.

Samsung captured 34 percent of Q2 Android shipments, while HTC shipped 23 percent, says ABI. Sony Ericsson earned itself 11 percent Android market share "with little help from North American shipments," says the research firm.

The 103 million in total smartphone shipments is said to represent a year-to-year growth rate of 62 percent and a quarter-to-quarter bump of just 2.2 percent. At first glance, this would seem to suggest that the market rebound from last year may have stalled a bit.

ABI explains it this way: "While the annual growth rates and 2H 11 outlooks appear healthy for the industry, Q2 did experience some 'softness' in the market, driven by macro-economic conditions, seasonality, and a sharper than expected decline in Nokia's smartphone business."

Despite evidence from multiple sources that Android is gobbling up global smartphone market share of late — even if its growth rate appears to be slowing in the U.S. - the 46 percent numbers are fairly mind-boggling.

The numbers apparently surprised even ABI Research, since in April, the research firm projected that Android would achieve 45 percent global market share in 2016. At that time, ABI estimated that Android represented slightly less than a quarter of 2010 global share, with 69 million of the 302 million smartphones shipped that year.

In March, IDC estimated Android would surge to a dominant 39.5 percent share of the smartphone market this year, then further climb slowly to a 45.4 percent share by 2015. In April, Gartner projected that Android would take the lead in smartphone sales with 38.5 percent by year's end, and move up to 48.8 percent in 2015.

ABI's Sensation teardown explores dual-core Snapdragon

This week, ABI Research also released a teardown report of the HTC Sensation Android phone available from T-Mobile and Vodafone, and takes a deep dive inside its dual-core, 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260. ABI Research's "HTC Sensation Teardown" includes a "Qualcomm MSM8260 Teardown" that is also separately available.


HTC Sensation

T-Mobile began selling the Sensation in June — as the HTC Sensation 4G — for $200 with a two-year contract. The 4.3-inch Android 2.3 phone offers a unique, contoured display, 768MB RAM, and a full range of wireless features. An eight-megapixel camera and front-facing webcam are also available.

The ABI teardown covers Sensation components including sensors, power management, RF modules, memory, and more. The analysis also explores the software, including a new HTC Watch video service, and an updated version 3.0 of the HTC Sense featuring an "active lockscreen."

The Qualcomm MSM8260 system-on-chip (SoC), meanwhile, joins the Samsung Exynos, Texas Instruments OMAP4440, and other SoCs as rivals to the reigning high-end Android mobile chip, the Nvidia Tegra 2. In 2009 and 2010, the single-core Snapdragon was considered the reigning Android smartphone champ, but the Tegra 2 has come on fast.

So far, the dual-core Snapdragon MSM8260 is available on Huawei's Android 3.2-based MediaPad tablet and HP's WebOS-based TouchPad tablet. More devices are no doubt on the way.

The MSM8260 is notable for being the first smartphone SoC to integrate an advanced dual-core application processor with an HSPA modem in one unit, says ABI. This leads to greater efficiencies in both cost and power, says the research firm. The report includes all of the components in the MSM8260 chipset, the electrical bill of materials, measured performance numbers, and more.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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