Google’s Android platform continued its meteoric rise to the top of the smartphone shipments table in 4Q, beating Nokia’s Symbian into second place.
Figures from Canalys reveal total shipments of smartphones running Google software – including Android, Tapas and OMS- hit 33.3 million during the quarter, giving the firm 32.9% of the total smartphone market. Nokia was only narrowly beaten though, with shipments of 31 million and a 30.6% share.
Android’s share was boosted by strong sales of smartphones from HTC and Samsung, whose combined shipments generated 45% of Google’s total.
Total smartphone shipments for the period grew 88.6% to 101.2 million, showing that the market has recovered from a tough 2009 when the global economic recession impacted sales.
Chris Jones, vice president and principal analyst at Canalys, said the speed of recovery demonstrates the “commitment and innovation” of handset vendors.
Consumers in the EMEA region purchased the most smartphones in 4Q, with shipments up 90% to 38.8 million, however the US remained the largest country, Canalys notes.
Jones says vendors must work hard to build on the success during 2011, noting that the next 12 months will be “highly competitive” as vendors seek to differentiate their devices with new technology including “dual-core processors, NFC and 3D displays.”