Apple’s iPhone is continuing to grow in sales, but the gap between it in and Google’s Android in the United States is widening, as is Android’s lead over Research in Motion (RIM). That’s the take home message of a new research report from Canalys.
Canalys caught a lot of attention as the first market research firm to report that Android (formally the “Open Handset Alliance” (OHA), the group of hardware providers that make smartphones powered by Google’s Android OS) had passed Apple’s iPhone in U.S. That report was later confirmed by the NPD Group.
The latest Canalys report says that Apple now has “the lead in U.S. smartphone market.” That means that it is the single best-selling smartphone on the market, whereas there are a number of individual smartphones that makeup the OHA.
Overall Android shipped 9.1 million units in Q3 2010, to take a commanding lead with 43.6 percent of the U.S. market. Apple shipped 5.5 million units, with 26.2 percent of the market. RIM was a hair behind, with 5.1 million units shipped and 24.2 percent of the market.
Microsoft’s phone woes continued as it awaits the Windows Phone 7, which will land on Monday, November 8. The company only managed to ship 600,000 Windows Mobile handsets, dropping it to a 3.0 percent market share.
Recent HP-acquisition Palm was conspicuously absent from the list due to lack of sufficient sales. Palm, like Microsoft, is betting on a new platform to revive its near-death sales. Palm is preparing webOS 2.0 and recently announced its first new hardware since the Pre Plus. Several other devices are also reportedly in the works.
Turning to global market, Canalys reports that worldwide smartphone shipments grew 95 percent from Q3 2009 with 80.9 million shipped units this last quarter. Globally, Nokia leads with 33 percent of the global market, Apple holds 17 percent of the market, and RIM holds a 15 percent market share. Android, grew 1,309 percent since Q3 2009. It shipped 1.4 million units globally in Q3 2009, and 20.0 million units globally in Q4 2009. The OS accounted for 25 percent of global smartphone shipments and now only trails Nokia.
The Canalys global smartphone report, combined with the recent IDC report on the total global phone market (including non-smartphones), paint a relatively complete picture when it comes to global sales.
Based on recent research into Apple’s extreme profitability, it’s evident that the Cupertino corporation doesn’t need to outsell Google’s platform to make boatloads of money. It’s equally evident that Android handsets are grossly outselling Apple’s iPhone, even as the iPhone edges ahead of veteran player RIM. Likewise RIM can take comfort in that it posted a large increase in volume — even if it did fall behind Apple and Android. And Nokia can take comfort in that it’s still posting small growth and holding steady in market share. Thus there’s a bit of good news for everybody in this report — except perhaps Microsoft and Palm.
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