Android growing; other platforms, not so much

According to Comscore, Android is doing a good job gaining smartphone market share in the US. The statistics cover October of last year, through this past January. According to the numbers, Android saw a 153.57% increase in the number of people using the platform, allowing Android to overtake Palm in overall market share.

Android now owns 7.1% of the US smartphone market. As of October 2009, they only held 2.8%. The rapid growth that the platform has experienced is mind-boggling and can largely be attributed to the number of devices launching with the platform. Google's strategy with Android is to get as many people onto Google services as possible. Android is open-source, and the entire Open Handset Alliance (consisting of most of the major phone manufacturers) has pledged to support the operating system. As more devices hit the market, we will continue to see large numbers out of Android.

RIM and Apple both gained a slight piece of the market, while both Microsoft and Palm lost a few percent. The percent change for each platform is the thing to look at. That's where you can really see the growth. Below are the numbers. It's unlikely that Android will lose any steam in the coming months. With new platforms expected from both Apple and Microsoft, we will likely begin to see growth from them as well.

Smartphone  Market Share Growth

Above image taken from Phandroid.

Smartphone Market Share

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34 Comments

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In my family alone, there's three Android phones (me and my brother's stock Mytouches and my just installed Android OS on my HTC Touch Pro [somewhat dual booting with Windows Mobile]); two Blackberry phones that belongs to my sister and Mom; and of course my Windows Mobile OS via the Touch Pro. And somehow, all of us owns an iPod touch (with me having a Zune HD).

Android, as a platform, is tricky. Let's say, the "virtual machine" is way inferior to their competitor (specially the factor that it is slow as hell) and some cellphones (android based) are unable to connect to the store.

Magallanes said,
Android, as a platform, is tricky. Let's say, the "virtual machine" is way inferior to their competitor (specially the factor that it is slow as hell) and some cellphones (android based) are unable to connect to the store.

What are you talking about... the Nexus is blazing fast - I know I have one - and "unable to connect to the store" ?!! what store ? iTunes ? Android music store is Amazon and it's working really nice.

Finally. No Symbian included.

Of course it's going to increase, how is anyone surprised? It's brand new, and is only just going mainstream.

Good news, Android deserves to be recognized. I like its app store, gps navigation, browser, and how everything - mail, calendar, contacts, etc syncs up. Since its an open platform you have a nice variety of phone styles and carriers to choose from.

Ryoken said,
So let me get this straight... The new platform is growing faster than the established? I'm shocked.

WebOS came out after Android and is faltering, so it's not just the newest but the better supported of the new ones

z0phi3l said,
WebOS came out after Android and is faltering, so it's not just the newest but the better supported of the new ones

I wouldn't say WebOS is faltering necessarily... it's only available on a select number of Palm devices, while Android is available on a bunch of devices in different form factors from various manufacturers, so it has more potential to catch a wider audience.

Its pretty easy to gain 153% of people using your platform when you start with so few people using it. A percentage of change is only as good as the sample size it represents.

Also, if Nokia was thrown into this mix, I'll bet the numbers would look dramatically different. Even in the US, Nokia has had huge success due to the number of phones they throw out at low prices. They have even been called "No Clue" kia before due to their problems and OS, but for something so simple, it sure does sell.

Microsoft definitely faltered on windows mobile as an OS, but where they really got hit at was marketing and availability. RIM, Apple, and proponents of the android OS (more like HTC and Motorola instead of Google) definitely were on their game making either pretty devices or ones cheap enough to shell out nearly for free with you favorite carrier. Seriously, when's the last time you saw a windows mobile commercial?

In time, all fads will fade, and price will prevail. The real successor in market share will be the one that can get a good device at a cheap price or get a good enough deal with a carrier to be perceived as next to nothing. RIM, Nokia, and some lower form of android (not google based) will have a chance at this, but microsoft's new flagship and the iphone won't stand a chance.

From what I hear, the project pink based stuff might be a good effort on getting out a lower form of the os for a cheap price to saturate the non-geek market.

joshua.barker said,
Its pretty easy to gain 153% of people using your platform when you start with so few people using it. A percentage of change is only as good as the sample size it represents.

Also, if Nokia was thrown into this mix, I'll bet the numbers would look dramatically different. Even in the US, Nokia has had huge success due to the number of phones they throw out at low prices. They have even been called "No Clue" kia before due to their problems and OS, but for something so simple, it sure does sell.

Microsoft definitely faltered on windows mobile as an OS, but where they really got hit at was marketing and availability. RIM, Apple, and proponents of the android OS (more like HTC and Motorola instead of Google) definitely were on their game making either pretty devices or ones cheap enough to shell out nearly for free with you favorite carrier. Seriously, when's the last time you saw a windows mobile commercial?

In time, all fads will fade, and price will prevail. The real successor in market share will be the one that can get a good device at a cheap price or get a good enough deal with a carrier to be perceived as next to nothing. RIM, Nokia, and some lower form of android (not google based) will have a chance at this, but microsoft's new flagship and the iphone won't stand a chance.

From what I hear, the project pink based stuff might be a good effort on getting out a lower form of the os for a cheap price to saturate the non-geek market.

As has been mentioned time and time again, Nokia does not manufacture smart phones (save a few very specific models), they focus primarily on low-cost "pretty" devices, and only on GSM Networks, which makes them not applicable when looking at US Carriers (since over half of the US is on CDMA).

Microsoft didn't falter, they just fell behind... Windows Phone 7 will change that if the hype holds true. Why would they pump tons of money into advertising an aging platform that they knew was behind the times when they were working on their latest and greatest?

The rest of your comment is mostly just jibberish, so I won't even bother to respond to it.

vaximily said,

As has been mentioned time and time again, Nokia does not manufacture smart phones

Nokia is the king of the hill (globally) with their N-Serie.

Magallanes said,
Nokia is the king of the hill (globally) with their N-Serie.

1. This Article is about US Sales, not Global Sales.
2. As far as I know, the N-Series isn't sold by any US Cell Carrier.
3. Refer to 1 & 2 to why your comment is completely irrelevant.

Nice job Google. I've developed on PrÄ—, iPhone, Android and Blackberry and Android is the easiest development platform by far for developers IMHO.

Look at the base numbers. Not trying to bash Android or anything here, but a 153.57% increase, while impressive looking, really isn't that hard with the low market share they started with. Here's hoping that rate of adoption holds as Android levels out on its numbers.

icie said,
Look at the base numbers. Not trying to bash Android or anything here, but a 153.57% increase, while impressive looking, really isn't that hard with the low market share they started with. Here's hoping that rate of adoption holds as Android levels out on its numbers.

Did you read the rest of the article? That is the least important number of the bunch... the fact that they were able to go from 5% below Palm to 2% above Palm for Total Market share in less than 4 months is what's really impressive.

Microsoft PAYS and extreme delay in developing a competitive smartphone platform. No doubt about this. And Android is, yep, crapple's thorn in its side. :)

lol @ Microsoft & Palm

Palm's best hope is to start loading Android on their phones. Maybe RIM would soon follow. Competition is good but having many different operating systems would be a pain for developers.

Chugworth said,
lol @ Microsoft & Palm

Palm's best hope is to start loading Android on their phones. Maybe RIM would soon follow. Competition is good but having many different operating systems would be a pain for developers.

Have you spent significant time with a webOS device? It's not without its problems but when it's running smoothly it's undoubtedly the best mobile operating system on the market. Such a pleasant user experience, you should check it out.

just_laze said,
Have you spent significant time with a webOS device? It's not without its problems but when it's running smoothly it's undoubtedly the best mobile operating system on the market. Such a pleasant user experience, you should check it out.

I disagree... while it's a fairly slick OS, I don't find it to be nearly as powerful or intuitive as Android.

vaximily said,

I disagree... while it's a fairly slick OS, I don't find it to be nearly as powerful or intuitive as Android.

See, I find WebOS incredibly intuitive...especially compared to Android which I find to have too many UI paradigms in one OS. The way you search and open things in WebOS is just now showing up in Android and the task management is miles ahead.

My main reason for wanting to move to Android with my next phone is that HTC just keeps putting out amazing handsets and I came from WM so I can totally handle some less intuitive task management.

Still, if Palm somehow puts out something amazing this summer I may have a harder time deciding. As it stands now, I will be replacing my Pre with a Supersonic when my year is up but I'm not writing off Palm yet. It's a shame that people (myself included) will gravitate toward shiny/sexy with bigger screens regardless of how sweet the OS is.

The only problem I have with Palm and actually there are lot people thinking the same, is the development price. SDK doesn't give everything for emulation, and the prices required to publish event a small application to the market is huge. I have to pay 100$ a year and for each version of application 50$. So if you have a demo and full application, you will have to pay 200$ just to publish it. This is why there is no such big BOOM.

I forsee even more growth once the Nexus One is available for the rest of the carriers. Then once they add exchange support. That's what made me stick with RIM when I upgraded last week.

bankajac said,
I forsee even more growth once the Nexus One is available for the rest of the carriers. Then once they add exchange support. That's what made me stick with RIM when I upgraded last week.

I can't see ActiveSync support being too far away - seeing as Google already licence it from Microsoft anyway.

bankajac said,
I forsee even more growth once the Nexus One is available for the rest of the carriers. Then once they add exchange support. That's what made me stick with RIM when I upgraded last week.

Nexus one doesn't support exchange? My droid does... thats weird.