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Android powers 48% of smartphones globally, study says

August 2, 2011 |  9:20 am

Google Android vs. Apple iOS

Google's Android is a success, there's no disputing that.

Android has sat in the top spot for mobile operating systems worldwide since passing Nokia's Symbian by the end of last year.

But just how big and how widely used is Android? That's where there is some room for debate.

The research firm Canalys on Tuesday published details of a study that estimated Android's worldwide market share at about half -- 48% to be exact -- at the end of the second quarter of the year.

"Of the 56 countries Canalys tracks around the world, Android led in 35 of them and achieved a global market share of 48%," the firm said in a statement. "Android, the number one platform by shipments since Q4 2010, was also the strongest growth driver this quarter, with Android-based smart phone shipments up 379% over a year ago to 51.9 million units." 

Canalys said Apple's iOS, which is available on the iPhone, was the second most popular mobile OS with a 20% share of the global market.

The IDC research firm recently released estimates that still peg Android as the worldwide leading mobile OS, but one that would achieve a 40% market share by the second half of the year, hitting about 44% by 2015.

As noted by Cnet, ABI Research predicted earlier this year that Android would grow to a 45% share globally by 2016.

Gartner, another research group, has projected Android will hit about a 39% share worldwide by the end of 2011 and about 50% share by the end of 2012.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: A clay-art interpretation of "the raging battle between Apple's iPhone and Google's Android." Credit: Tsahi Levent-Levi via Flickr

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