Google’s Android operating system accounted for 25.5 percent of worldwide smartphone sales in the third quarter, according to Gartner, making it the No. 2 operating system behind Nokia’s Symbian OS.
Gartner credits Android’s success in North America for vaulting it past Apple’s and Research In Motion’s OS offerings. The research firm estimates Android phones accounted for 75 to 80 percent of Verizon Wireless’ smartphone sales in the third quarter. The popularity of Samsung’s high-end Galaxy S device also helped Android gain significant ground.
Meanwhile, Gartner adds, lower-priced Android phones (like the sub-£100 ZTE phone with Orange’s prepaid line in the U.K.) helped the OS make headway in different consumer segments.
Smartphone OS Market Share for Q3 2010 (Source: Gartner)
Microsoft Hoping to Climb Back with WP7
In light of Microsoft’s recent release of its brand-new Windows Phone 7 OS (see WP7 Reviews), it’s imperative the company make inroads in the OS market, given its meager 2.8-percent share of third-quarter global smartphone sales (with its previous Windows Mobile OS).
“Microsoft hopes Windows Phone 7 will reverse its market-share declines,” wrote eWeek.com’s Nicholas Kolakowski (Nov. 11). “The smartphones officially hit store shelves Nov. 8, offered on both AT&T and T-Mobile. AT&T is marketing the Samsung Focus and HTC Surround for $199 with a two-year contract, while T-Mobile’s device, the HTC HD7, retails for the same price with the data plan.”
TheStreet.com’s Scott Moritz reported (Nov. 9) that AT&T and T-Mobile “didn’t exactly make waves” with Windows Phone 7 launch, selling “a mere” 40,000 devices the first day.
“Even a glitzy media intro last month hosted by champion inside-seller and company chief Steve Ballmer, Microsoft, which spent a reported $100 million on the phone’s advertising campaign” couldn’t bring in the big sales numbers enjoyed by its competitors, Moritz wrote. “Google said last month that it was selling 200,000 Android phones a day. And Apple has said its iPhone sales rate was 270,000 a day.” Yikes.
But Microsoft still has time. “It’s early in the game,” Nielsen analyst Roger Entner told Moritz. “Not every product surges right out of the starting blocks. The first Android phone was not a big seller at T-Mobile.”
Entner says Christmas will be the real test for WP7. “We’ll see what happens with Black Friday sales. They’ll probably cut prices like everyone else does. It’s the nature of the beast. The only one that doesn’t do promotions is Apple.”