Gartner: Android Captured Half of Global Smartphone Sales in Q4’11


Reputable research firm Gartner today released figures for mobile operating system sales on a global scale in the fourth quarter of 2011. They found that Google suffered a slight decline in market share while Apple gained 8% thanks to the launch of the iPhone 4S. Even with the decline, Google still owned 50.9% of the share for that period, an increase from 30.5% in the same quarter a year ago.

Symbian is quickly losing ground as Nokia has abandoned the dated operating system for Windows Phone 7. Once a worldwide powerhouse, Symbian was only accountable for 11.7% of the sales. RIM came next at 8.8% and Microsoft actually did worse than Samsung’s bada with 1.9% compared to 2.1%.

Gartner credits Samsung as being the driving force for Android’s continued dominance thanks to devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S  II and all its variants. Samsung sold 92.68 million devices that quarter, accounting for around19%

Apple only had 7.4% of the share on 35 million units sold. LG continues to struggle in the smartphone world as they declined to 3.6% of the share, even being beat by up-and-comer ZTE. Gartner was also nice enough to count up the yearly numbers for us in the chart at the source link.

Android inches ever close to being the leader in overall smartphone market share (installed user-base instead of quarterly and yearly sales) and we’re glad to see that its momentum has sustained even up against Apple’s late surge in 2011. Read the full press release at the source link for the full slate of figures. [Gartner]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. This, right here, is why devs need to make Android apps first, then port them to iOS. Not the other way around.

    1. Not necessarily. There’s still more $$ to be made in the App Store vs. Android Market because iOS users are much more likely to pay for apps than Android users. And I say this as a full-time Android developer.

      1.  A fool and their money…

        1. Unfortunately he’s right. Apple has north of 75% of ALL smartphone app sales. Money talks, especially when it’s that disproportionate. Android, could have 75% of the market-share, but if it doesn’t generate actual money from apps for developers (which cost money), why should it be the priority for apps? 

          1. And where exactly are you getting that 75% figure from?

            You can read through the actual Distimo report if you want all the breakouts.

            Flurry had good points too, .24 on every dollar on iOS.

          3. You forget that most apps are free. Why a free app developer would prefer iOS over Android when Android has more market share?

          4. Because marketshare isn’t everything in this case. Freemium apps are not what drive the big money. It’s essentially the only way to try to make money on Android, but when you can charge 1.99 or 2.99  and have a million people buy your app in the App Store, vs hoping for ad revenue at fractions of that…where would you put your focus. Collectively Android users just don’t buy apps in comparison. It’s a bit of an enigma.

            Running the numbers, we find that, on average, for every $1.00 generated on iOS, the same app will generate $0.24 on Android.” 


          5. @zepfloyd:disqus
             I am not talking about free demos of paid apps. I am talking aout free apps (or ad supported apps at the limit)

  2. Hah. Headline comparison:
    Phandroid: Gartner: Android Captured Half of Global Smartphone Sales in Q4’11
    Engadget: Gartner: Apple leads the way among smartphone vendors, Android sees slight decline

    1. Gotta love iGadget, no bias there.

      1. Of course Engadget plays up to the iPhone crowd.

        AOL execs, much like People magazine, TMZ, etc.– and for that matter, independent devs — are keenly aware of what gets clicks and who pays the bills.

        1. No problem with catering to any crowd, just don’t act unbiased like they do.

  3. Apple’s still doing very well for only being on 3 carriers, two new models, and being the solitary manufacturer. It’d be interesting to see the break down of manufactures for Android how they are doing. HTC will probably be a roller coaster ride on a graph chart while Samsung will probably be an upward slope with multiple plateaus…at least in the States. In Germany and Australia there will probably be some valleys in their climb from the different Blockades that Apple has managed to put up..

    1. Three US carriers anyway, there are multiple other carriers it’s available on world wide.

    2. Funny, it was on over 200 carriers last year. What happened to those, did they mysteriously stop selling the iPhone? Or do you actually think that the world ends at the US frontier?

    3.  ‘Only being on 3 carriers’? Only?

      You mean, the top three US mobile operators…together encompassing something like +85% of the market?

      Gee, I feel so sorry for Apple. The poor dears. ;)

      Meanwhile, let’s recall how Android was available on just a single US carrier (#4, ‘natch) for well past it’s first two years in existence. And for the record, even now Android is available on fewer carriers (than iPhone), worldwide, many of which still do not provide access to paid apps via Android Market, much less carrier billing.

  4. Symbian is quickly losing ground as Nokia has abandoned the dated operating system for Android.”

    lol funny

    1. Saw that too.  The user’s might have, but Elop is still waiting to pee himself to stay warm.

  5. MS is in decline, despite a years worth of app growth and a major update.  Doubtful even Nokia can save them now.

  6. The Microsoft number STILL includes Windows Mobile 6.5 and earlier.  Which means that sales of Windows Phone must be truly dismal.  What a shame.  Sniff.

    Anyway, Android and Apple both grew share and more than doubled units.  That’s good.  More customers for those developers is good.

  7. Yup, looks like Win 7 Mobile is going to really give Android a run for it’s money.  Just like M$’s 9 figure marketing campaign told me.

    And for all you lemmings who bought into it.  SUCKERS!

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