Android overtakes Symbian as world's best-selling smartphone platform in Q4 2010

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Canalys today published its final Q4 2010 global country-level smart phone market data, which revealed that Google’s Android has become the leading platform.


Shipments of Android-based smart phones reached 32.9 million, while devices running Nokia’s Symbian platform trailed slightly at 31.0 million worldwide. But Nokia did retain its position as the leading global smart phone vendor, with a share of 28%. The fourth quarter also saw the worldwide smart phone market continue to soar, with shipments of 101.2 million units representing year-on-year growth of 89%. The final quarter took shipments for the year to fractionally below 300 million units, with an annual growth rate of 80% over 2009 (see table below).

canalys Q4 2010

In Q4 2010, volumes of Google OS-based smart phones (Android, OMS and Tapas) were again boosted by strong performances from a number of vendors, notably LG, Samsung, Acer and HTC, whose volumes across these platforms grew 4,127%, 1,474%, 709% and 371% respectively year-on-year. HTC and Samsung together accounted for nearly 45% of Google OS-based handset shipments.


At a regional level, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) remained the largest market, with shipments totalling 38.8 million and a year-on-year growth rate of 90%. Nokia continued to lead in EMEA and Asia Pacific, but in 2010 it was overtaken by RIM in Latin America, which shipped over a million more units than Nokia in Q4 2010. The vendor was particularly helped by the popularity of its mid-range smart phones, such as its Curve family of devices.


Source: Canalys Press Release

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16 comments

  1. Android overtakes Symbian as
    world ’s best-selling smartphone
    platform in Q4 2010

    Before the Anti symbian Fan club starts rejoicing, the report said it was for the fourth quarter of 2010 not the whole year.


  2. I’m really not surprised. It will be worse this 2011 unless Nokia rapidly upgrades Symbian with their 50 promised improvements; and releases Meego before Q2 of 2011.

  3. Do you guys think that report is enough reason to conclude that Nokia is going down? This is bad PR and publicity to Nokia, knowing fully well that people are driven primarily by emotion than by reason.

    You are probably reading this blog, ‘cos your friend recommended it to you. Your emotion may override reason when making some purchasing decisions too.

    Nokia is still a leader in what they do best. They need to respond to this competition, that is what I think. Somehow, they are working on it already. lets see what first and second quarter report would reveal.


  4. I have observed that most times, when it comes to symbian and Nokia it’s easy for people to have knee jerk reactions which sometimes are largely uninformed and based purely on sentiments. I suggest you all read Tomi Ahonen’s article (There’s a link above) before commenting.

  5. This report is factual – nothing anyone can do about it. Android did outsell Symbian last quarter.

    But what were people expecting? That Nokia alone would outsell the combination of HTC, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, Huawei and others?

    Reality check, please.

    Still, while Android outsold Symbian on the specified period, and is likely to continue to do so, that does not spell doom for Symbian on anyway. This is just a shift in power from one OS to another.

    If we want to talk about doom, WebOS, WindowsPhone7 are much closer to Hades than Symbian. Symbian still has the largest marketshare (though that will change sooner or later). Symbian is still growing sales (though losing marketshare). As long as there is growth in sales, Symbian is alive and well. If that growth disappears, we can begin to worry about Symbian being doomed.


  6. Considering the fact that Android’s growth has for the most part been due to other mobile phone makers picking up the software and running it on their own hardware while Nokia alone builds & ships phones with the Symbian Os (Apple & the iFamily), they i.e Nokia knew this was coming. While I’m still a big Nok fan, I’m afraid this may be the end of their reign as far the smartphone market is concerned.

  7. This is not a suprise, if it does not happen consider Android as a failure, I mean OS that is running on about six different makes…Samsung, HTC, Sonyericsson etc……I still prefer Symbian anyway……..

  8. Yomi & Ebunma you guys said part of my mind

    In addition, you wan kill Nokia. 1 against many, Android is now enjoying what Symbian used to enjoy in those days.

    There is no story, Android will surpass Nokia and Apple in sales and market share sooner or later.

    Some people might think this is funny but the only OS that can stop Android is Windows phone7. If only Microsoft releases these update fast enough. WP7 is the only OS that can favorably compete with Android.


  9. imajine,six mobile phone manufacturers taking on Nokia via the back door,and yet some people are rejoicing. Long live Nokia, Long live N8 functionalties.Amen

  10. @bosun99uk, why do I find it difficult to share the same enthusiasm on WP7 with you? maybe because Microsoft appears confused. And maybe, Steve Balmer is not as good a CEO as Bill Gates was.

    Symbian losing first position was never so surprising. Because one way or another all empires fade out and a new superpower emerges. But then; manufacturers considered, Nokia is still on top. What will be real news is when manufacturers like Samsung or RIM gaps Nokia in SMARTPHONE sales. When that happens, then I’d say it us news what reporting!

  11. That leadership position will be further assured due to the recent partnership between Nokia and Microsoft.

    Furthermore, there is this rumour that the Blackberry Playbook may soon be able to run Android apps.

    It is also possible to run Android apps on your PC. Never heard of anybody attempting such a thing with other OSes like symbian, iPhone and the rest…


  12. Nokia recently announced that they’ll be switching to wp7. It’s unfortunate that they’re ditching their own symbian that has been with them all these years for windows of all the OSes

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