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Danny Goodwin

Android Becomes Best-Selling Smartphone, Serious iPad Challenger

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android_logo.pngGoogle's Android is now the top smartphone platform in the world. Meanwhile, Android has seriously cut into Apple's domination of the tablet computer market.

For the fourth quarter of 2010, 32.9 million Android-based smartphones were sold worldwide, beating 31 million in sales of devices running on Nokia's Symbian platform. However, Nokia remains the top global smartphone vendor, with a share of 28 percent, according to Canalys.

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The amazing number in here is year-over-year growth: 615.1 percent from Q4 2009 to 2010, thanks in part to strong performance by vendors LG, Samsung, Acer and HTC. Meanwhile, Nokia's share was devoured, falling from 44.4 percent in Q4 2009 to 30.6 percent in Q4 2010.

Android also dominated in the U.S., with 12.1 million sold in Q4, or nearly three times more than RIM's BlackBerry devices.

However, the Verizon iPhone is coming soon, which could change the smartphone market landscape.

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For global tablet computer sales, Android's market share grew to 21.6 percent in Q4, up from 2.3 percent in the previous quarter. Apple's market share was at 75.3 percent in Q4, down from 95.5 percent the previous quarter. Apple sold 7.3 million iOS devices worldwide, while Android sold 2.1 million, according to Strategy Analytics.

Android is expected to further slice into Apple's tablet sales this year, in part because of lower prices.


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