Gartner published their fourth quarter 2011 results on Wednesday morning and no surprise, Android is still holding strong at the top of the smartphone heap with 50% of the market share. Apple’s iOS comes in at second place with 23.8% of the market share.
Year over year, there was significant improvement in both operating systems. Q4 2010 saw Android with 30.5% of the smartphone market while Apple’s iOS held 15.8% of the market. Year over year iOS has only had half of the market share Android has had.
Despite Apple having their best quarter ever, especially with iOS devices, Android is still clearly, ahead with what looks like no chance, for iOS to catch up.
More after the break
Android sold 45 million more units in Q4 2011 while iOS only grew by 19 million units.
Symbian and Research In Motion saw significant losses year over year. Symbian fell from 32.3% of the smartphone market last year while RIM fell from 14.6% of the market to under double digits with 8.8%. The numbers clearly show that the former users of both Blackberry’s and Symbian devices gravitated towards iOS and Android.
Because Apple only does an annual refresh Gartner warns that their growth through the rest of the year will slow as the upgrade cycle to the iPhone 4S slows. Apple delayed the launch of the iPhone 4S from it’s normal summer time launch to October. This was sure to help front load the Q4 results with a mad holiday season rush to get the latest iPhone.
Samsung was of course the largest factor in the Android market share. Samsung sold roughly 34 million devices in Q4 with the Galaxy S II accounting for half of the company’s sales in the fourth quarter.
While the iPhone 4S is becoming more readily available at retail stores, Samsung has the Samsung Galaxy S II, Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Samsung Galaxy Note all taking a front row seat in the first quarter of 2012.
Apple does not present at trade shows like CES, CTIA and the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. At that show we are expected to see the next round of quad-core Android devices with 4G/LTE. To date Apple does not offer a 4G/LTE or WiMax device.