Android sales to grow 900% in 2009: report

Android-based handset shipments are on track to grow 900% in 2009, overtaking the iPhone as the fastest-growing smartphone on the market, Strategy Analytics said.

Major players such as HTC, Motorola, Samsung, T Mobile and Vodafone have already pledged support for the new OS, due its low-cost licensing model, it open-source foundation and Google's support for cloud services, the research firm said.

“The Android mobile operating system from Google gained early traction in the US in the second half of 2008, and is gradually spreading its presence into Europe and Asia during 2009,” said Strategy Analytics senior analyst Tom Kang.

“Android is expanding from a low base, and is consequently outgrowing the iPhone OS from Apple, which we estimate will grow at a relatively lower 79% annually in 2009.”

The overall smartphone market grew 20% in 2008, with 152 million units shipped. While Nokia’s Symbian OS experienced sluggish sales in its core markets and lost market share as a result, all other operating systems have experienced “remarkable growth,” Strategy Analytics said.

APAC remained the largest market for smartphones, while the US overtook Western Europe for second place.