THE CALCULATORS are humming at Canalys with the news that Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 (WP7) has roared to a one per cent share of the smartphone market while Android has just under 50 per cent.
The growth of the Android operating system has been fast, according to the analysts, and has put Apple firmly into second place. Microsoft, however, has struggled and has seen only around one and a half million of its software based WP7 phones being pressed to people's ears.
Microsoft watched its user share drop by about half against the same period last year, but smartphone use is up all over, and Canalys found that the smartphone market has grown by 73 per cent around the globe. This took shipments in the second quarter of this year up to 107.7 million units and of these, Android smartphones took a 48 per cent market share.
Apple, meanwhile, has a 19 per cent market share with its 20.3 million shipments. However, since it has the choke hold on its IOS operating system it is the leading manufacturer. Android's market share, by comparison, is split between companies including HTC and Samsung.
"The iPhone has been a phenomenal success story for Apple and a watershed product for the market," said Canalys VP and principal analyst Chris Jones.
"It's an impressive success story, given that Apple has only been in the smart phone market for four years. With the next-generation iPhone anticipated in Q3, it's likely that Apple's position will grow even stronger in the second half of the year."
While Nokia is not doing particularly well, its Symbian loss was the IOS gain, according to the analysts, and other firms including Samsung were criticised for not taking the opportunity to increase their market shares.
"Samsung has failed to fully capitalise on Nokia's weakened state around the world, as the Finnish company rides out a challenging transitional period," added Jones.
"It's the best placed vendor to grow at Nokia's expense, taking advantage of its global scale and channel reach, but it hasn't yet done enough to capitalise on this, particularly in emerging markets."
The INQUIRER is led to believe, though we cannot confirm, that Samsung has sold a few handsets, including some of its Galaxy S II models, and Canalys said that it was the largest Android device vendor and the number two vendor overall.
Canalys said that Samsung had sold 17 million handsets, but we - and we suspect Samsung too - are unable to confirm this.
Nokia was urged to hurry up and start releasing Windows Phone 7 based devices as soon as possible by Canalys analyst Pete Cunningham.
"The problem for Nokia is that demand for its Symbian-based smart phones has dissipated very rapidly, particularly in operator-led markets, such as Western Europe, where it's been strong in the past," he added.
"It badly needs the first of its Windows Phone devices to launch as soon as possible to arrest a decline and, hopefully, silence its critics."
Yeah, about that 'silence its critics' bit, The INQUIRER is not quite sure that that will solve anything. µ
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