Google’s Android mobile operating system has finally opted the Symbian OS from Nokia from its top spot on the worldwide smartphone charts. According to the latest figures released by Canalys shipments of Android-based smartphones reached 32.9 million in Q4 2010, while Symbian ranked slightly below at 31 million.
Sales of smartphone continued to soar in Q4, with year-on-year growth of 89 per cent, and for the year as a whole shipments hit just under 300 million units, with an annual growth rate of 80 per cent over 2009.
Chris Jones, principal analyst at Canalys, said: “2010 has been a fantastic year for the smartphone market. After a difficult 2009, the speed with which the market has recovered has required real commitment and innovation from vendors, and they have risen to the challenge.
EMEA remained the largest market, with shipments totalling 38.8 million and year-on-year growth of 90 per cent.
Nokia continued to top the charts in EMEA and Asia Pacific, but was overtaken last year by RIM in Latin America which shipped more than a million units more than Nokia in Q4 2010, primarily helped by its Curve family of devices.
Meanwhile, Canalys also reports that Research in Motion (RIM) rose above Apple in shipments to the U.S., thanks to devices like the new Torch. With Apple now in the hands of Verizon, however, we could see a shift back. Also, Motorola’s Droid, dubbed by many as Verizon’s “iPhone killer,” could see a negative impact based on the iPhone’s availability through the carrier.
In the U.S., 12.1 million Android devices shipped during the quarter; representing three-times more than the BlackBerry.
With Android anxiously waiting in the wings, Nokia will need to come out with something truly innovative and market-changing if it hopes to maintain its top spot on the charts.