The standard meme when it came to smartphones was that while Android and iOS powered the lion’s share of devices sold here in the US, Nokia’s Symbian was the worldwide king. That logic is now outdated according to data from research firm Gartner.
For the first time, Android has surpassed Symbian in terms of units sold in the first quarter of 2010, making up 36 percent of the market. That is a four-fold increase from the same quarter last year, when it only made up nine percent of all devices sold. Much of Android’s gain came at the expense of Symbian, which fell from 44.2 percent a year ago to 27.4 percent.
As has been typical, iOS has treaded water, up slightly to 16.8 percent of the market, and RIM fell about seven points to 12.9 percent of the market in the first quarter. Microsoft also fell, making up 3.6 percent of the market after a 6.8 percent share in the year ago quarter.
So, what can we gather from these results? Without a doubt, Android is quickly becoming the platform of choice for many smartphone buyers. iOS continues to appeal to its target group, but seems to be having some trouble getting much traction elsewhere; and RIM still can’t seem to right its ship. This is quickly becoming a two-horse race between Apple and Google, and currently Google’s got all most of the marbles.
Microsoft? Might as well forget it. A measly 1.6 million Windows Phone devices were sold worldwide in the first quarter — only about 1.6 percent of the entire smartphone market. The only hope it has is the Nokia partnership.
Will those Symbian users stay brand loyal and switch to Windows Phone along with the company? I guess we’ll find out, but if these results are any indication they’re already moving to Android.
[Image from UnwiredView]