Android among fastest growing smartphones

Tech research firm Gartner this week released a report which said that Google’s Android OS went from a 0.5 percentmarket share in 2008 up to 3.9 percent by the end of 2009, and that the rival iPhone more than doubled the size of its user base as well.

In January, Apple said it had sold 8.7 million iPhones in the final quarter of 2009. The newer Android operating system saw exponentially rapid growth — after being on 640,000 smartphones in 2008, it was on nearly 6.8 million in 2009.

Roberta Cozza, a principal research analyst at Gartner, said that “Android’s success experienced in the fourth quarter of 2009 should continue into 2010 as more manufacturers launch Android products, but some CSPs and manufacturers have expressed growing concern about Google’s intentions in the mobile market.” Any discontent among manufacturers and telecoms could hinder the OS’ progress in 2010, she said.

While Apple might expect to build on its gains this year — especially if it releases a new iPhone sometime in late spring, as many expect — it still has a way to go before it cracks the top 5 in the worldwide cellphone market.

Samsung was a winner in that category. It achieved the greatest gains: Its market share grew from 16.3 to 19.5 percent, while Nokia lost 2.2 percent.

But Nokia continues to dominate world smart phone market. The Finnish manufacturer sold nearly 441 million handsets in 2009, compared to nearly 236 million for Samsung.

Overall, mobile phone sales worldwide totaled 1.2 billion units in 2009 — nearly a 1 percent decline from the previous year, according to Gartner.

[via VisageMobile, NPRblog]