NEW YORK - HTC Corp and Samsung Electronics Co, smartphone makers that sell handsets running on the Android operating system, gained market share worldwide last quarter as the Google Inc software became more popular.
Samsung, which unveiled the Galaxy line of Android-based devices last year, almost tripled its share of the global smartphone market to 9.6 percent as its shipments rose more than fivefold, research firm IDC Corp said on Monday. HTC almost doubled its portion to 8.5 percent and more than tripled shipments.
The top phone makers who didn't use the Google software lost or maintained market share, IDC said. Research In Motion Ltd, (RIM), which sells BlackBerry phones on its own operating system, fell to 14.5 percent of the market from 19.9 percent a year ago. Nokia Oyj, the biggest smartphone maker, slipped to 28 percent from 38.6 percent. Apple Inc, which sells the iPhone, maintained its share at 16.1 percent.
Google, based in Mountain View, California, gives away Android for free to boost revenue from services such as mobile advertising and expand the market for its search engine. A separate report last week, from research firm Canalys, showed Android became the world's best-selling operating system for smartphones last quarter.
The industry shipped 101 million smartphones worldwide during the fourth quarter, a jump of 87 percent from a year earlier, IDC said. For the year, shipments totaled 302.6 million worldwide, up 74 percent from 2009, IDC said.
Operating systems control mobile devices much like similar software on personal computers, and they come with a variety of applications and functions.
Similar trends are appearing in the United States, according to Reston, Virginia-based researcher ComScore Inc. While RIM maintained its spot as the most popular smartphone operating system, it declined in December to less than a third of the market from 41.6 percent a year earlier. Google's Android operating system jumped to 28.7 percent of the market from 5.2 percent, according to the report.
(China Daily 02/09/2011 page16)