Android Market Share 35%, Windows Phone 2.5% - InformationWeek

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Android Market Share 35%, Windows Phone 2.5%

Google's mobile platform remains at the top of the smartphone market for the second quarter in a row, while Microsoft's latest platform barely registered.

Overall, worldwide sales of smartphones hit 101 million units in the first quarter of 2011, up 83% against the same quarter in 2010. Phones running Android represented just over 35 million phones. Even though Android was the clear winner as far as platforms go, Nokia didn't cede its number one position as the largest manufacturer. It stayed in the lead with 24% of the market, though that is down substantially from the 39% share it held last year.

Android is, of course, sold by a number of vendors like Motorola, HTC, LG, and Samsung. Every vendor, according to a report from Canalys, sold at least 3 million units.

There was interesting tidbit in the report that gave a clue to what Windows Phone has shipped. Midway down it said that Samsung sold 3.5 million phones running its Bada operating system. It then said that Bada outperformed "total shipments of Windows Phone devices by more than a million units."

At best, Windows Phone shipped 2.5 million devices globally in the same period. That gives it 2.5% share and puts Windows Phone 7 in fifth place behind Android, Blackberry, iPhone, and Bada. While WebOS isn't mentioned and I'd be surprised if it did better than 2.5% share given neither it nor HP are mentioned in the report at all. That should bring the total Windows Phone units to 4.5 million since its launch as Microsoft reported two million shipped in 2010.

One report claimed Windows Phone activated just 674,000 units in the first six weeks of 2011. If you doubled that to get a full quarter, that would be roughly 1.3 million units. Given the data by Canalys though, I think those numbers are low. I find it hard to believe that manufacturers shipped nearly twice as many units than were sold through to customers.

Microsoft's new platform may not make it with numbers like that were it not for the huge deal it struck with Nokia. It also looks like the platform may be a Nokia-only platform given the incredible success other manufacturers are having with Android. If you are selling millions of phones with an open source platform that you can customize, why would you expend the resources necessary to sell a platform in far smaller numbers that doesn't allow you to alter it so you can set yourself apart from your competition? We'll have to see how that plays out in the next 12 to 18 months as Nokia begins shipping Windows Phone units.

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