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Summary:

Android, despite some mounting legal challenges in the marketplace, is flying higher than ever, according to Nielsen, which said Google’s operating system is on about four out of every 10 smartphones sold in the U.S. Apple, meanwhile, reigns as the top manufacturer.

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Android, despite some mounting legal challenges in the marketplace, is flying higher than ever, according to Nielsen , which said Google’s operating system is on about four out of every 10 smartphones sold in the U.S. Nielsen’s second-quarter smartphone share numbers conclude that Android has moved up to 39 percent of the smartphone market, up from 29 percent between November and January, a rise that has come at the expense of BlackBerry, which fell from 27 percent to 20 percent over the same period.

Apple continues to hold its ground at 28 percent of the smartphone market, and it leads by a healthy margin as the largest smartphone manufacturer. Apple’s OS market share has grown one percent since the November to January period. Meanwhile, Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile lost a point over the same period, falling from 10 to 9 percent. The drop highlights Microsoft’s struggle to gain momentum for its new WP7 platform. It’s unable to offset losses of its waning Windows Mobile devices with Windows Phone 7 sales. That will have to change with the upcoming Mango software update and Nokia partnership if Microsoft wants to compete.

Looking at the manufacturer numbers, HTC trails Apple with 20 percent market share, with 14 percent made up of Android devices and 6 percent running Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile. HTC is tied with RIM, which has stumbled but has managed to hold on to a decent market share despite a paucity of new devices. Motorola is next in line with 11 percent, including 10 percent on Android. Samsung, at 7 percent (5 percent on Android and 2 percent on WP7) is the one to watch, because of its upcoming U.S. launch of the Galaxy S II, which has already sold 5 million units in just under three months.

It’s interesting to see the list of top Android manufacturers because it’s composed of exactly the companies Apple is pursuing legally for patent infringement. The leaderboard could change significantly if Apple succeeds with its claims. Analyst Toni Sacconaghi of Sanford Bernstein wrote in a note today that Apple is looking to “upend” Android’s momentum. And if it prevails and forces Android makers to undertake costly or difficult workarounds, it could help pump up Apple’s market share by up to 10 percentage points, Sacconaghi believes.

Overall, it looks like there’s still a lot of volatility in this market. IDC has put out some big projections that have Android and Windows Phone 7 on top by 2015. But we still have to see how the legal battles play out, what kind of real oomph the fast-fading Nokia brings to Windows Phone 7, and what kind of turnaround BlackBerry can muster. While it seems like things are settling into a predictable rhythm, this story may have some twists and turns ahead.

  1. Been mentioned but I just reiterate … this is just the US numbers.
    Even in this major battle ground for Apple they are protecting their ground. While Android has a phenomenal acceleration.

    It will all change though once HTC is down on its knees by Apple. Its immanent and will be the next major turn in the story as you say. Google might need to pay for their doing then. Literally …

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  2. DAVID_EUROPE Friday, July 29, 2011

    Apple infringed 38 NOKIA’s patents and that didn’t pushed Apple down on its knees. Don’t forget, NOKIA filed an ITC claim to BAN Apple pod, pad and phone from inmoprt to the US. BAN. So what? Don’t be evil, keep calm.

    HTC was producing iPAQs, PDAs, cellphones, including touchscreen phones long before Apple entered this market.

    Preliminary ruling showed that JUST 2!!! patents out of 10 were infringed. 2 patents. PRELIMINARY. Before this ruling ITC judge recommended that HTC not infringing Apple’s patents at all.

    Apple is still childish. Like it was having only Macs and ipods.
    It’s NOT their own market. It’s world market.

    Google Android sells now 50 million smartphones per quarter worldwide, 550,000 new smartpones (and growing) per day worldwide. Artcile is about only US marketshare.

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  3. My next phone will for sure be running Android. I think it will be an HTC phone.

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  4. Mobiltrack Mobiltracker Sunday, July 31, 2011

    The next iteration of Android, scheduled for this winter, aims to bring the OS back from the brink of fragmentation by merging features from the mobile (Gingerbread) and tablet (Honeycomb) platforms

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