Report: Over Half of All Smartphones Now Run Android OS

During the 2012 Google I/O developer conference, the keynote cantered on Android growth.  Google announced that Android OS activations grew from 100 million in ro11 to over 400 million in 2012.  This meant that as of mid-2012, there were 12 Android devices activated every minute every day – a remarkable achievement that no other phone operating system has ever achieved.

According to a research study by Nielsen Research, two thirds of all mobile phones bought are smartphones.  This shows just how popular smartphones have become and solidifies manufacturer’s decision to focus on the smartphone market.  The study shows that 51.8 percent of all smartphone buyers go for Android smartphones while 34.3 percent prefer iOS and 8.1 percent Blackberry.  This is impressive for an operating system that is considered the youngest and Google must be very pleased with the way Android’s popularity is spreading.

The research attributes Android’s popularity to its availability on most devices by different manufacturers.  iOS would be the king of Smartphone OS if Apple had licensed other hardware manufacturers to use it – or even let the OS be an open system.  For a closed operating system to command over 34 percent of the market is impressive too.

When it comes to the specifics, Samsung leads the pack on the Android platform with 17 percent of the Android market being dominated by the company’s devices.  HTC comes at a close second of 14 percent and Motorola closes the top 3 list with 11 percent.  All other manufacturers share the remaining 9 percent.

Interestingly, Windows mobile is still on more devices than its successor Windows Phone 7.  In total, Microsoft commands 4.3 percent of the smartphone market with windows mobile commanding 4 percent and Windows Phone 7 taking only 1.3 percent.  Since Microsoft is going to release Windows Phone 8 soon, we just have to wait and see if this tilts the market in their favor.

The research also showed that 0.9 percent of the smartphone market is dominated by Symbian OS while WebOS takes a measly 0.6 percent.  The battle is now between Android and iOS but chances are that Microsoft will try to fight for the second position and dethrone iOS.