Android is behind the Q2 successes of HTC, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, reports iSuppli. The majority of the fastest-growing brands now run the Google OS.
What do the fastest-growing smartphone brands have in common? They run
Google's Android operating system, according to market research firm iSuppli.
Citing global smartphone market share figures for the second quarter of
2010, iSuppli analyst Tina Teng in an Oct. 12 report called Android the "secret
sauce" the handset makers are on to.
"Every brand that has put effort into designing smartphones using
Google's mobile operating system is riding the Android wave," Teng said in
the report. "From the spectacular growth of HTC
and Samsung, to the steady advances of Motorola, Android is the secret sauce
for smartphone growth for many companies in 2010."
HTC, which makes the Droid Incredible and
Evo 4G, among other handsets, led the industry in growth during the second
quarter with a rate of 63.1 percent, compared with the quarter before. HTC
shipped 4.9 million smartphones in the second quarter, versus 3 million during
the first quarter. Samsung, which put in the second most impressive growth
performance, thanks to the strength of its Galaxy line of smartphones, posted a
55.6 percent sequential growth rate, shipping 2.8 million smartphones, versus
1.8 million the previous quarter.
Sony Ericsson, which arrived later than others to the party, posted 15.4
percent growth, with shipments of 1.5 million smartphones, up from 1.3 million
in the first quarter. Motorola, ranking fifth in terms of growth, saw an
increase of 12.5 percent in the second quarter, according to iSuppli, with
shipments of 2.7 million smartphones, up from 2.4 million in the first quarter.
Also putting in an unexpectedly strong performance, though one not
attributable to Android, was Sharp. Thanks to strong a market share gain in Japan,
reports iSuppli, Sharp posted a growth rate of 48.7 percent in the second
quarter. Nokia, another sans-Android smartphone maker, led the quarter in terms
of shipments, moving 24 million units-more than twice the number of
second-ranking Research In Motion, at 11.2 million units-though Nokia's grow
rate was 11.6 percent. RIM, still lower, grew by 7 percent.
The success of the Android phone makers can be attributed to carrier
support, said iSuppli, with wireless operators wanting "to showcase the
capabilities of their upgraded networks by offering handsets with sophisticated
features to subscribers." The carriers-for example, Sprint, which offers
the HTC Evo 4G, and Verizon, which offers the
Samsung Galaxy S and the Motorola Droid X-have also turned to Android as they
work to compete against AT&T's exclusive hold on the Apple iPhone.
Amid the growth of the Android handsets during the quarter, iSuppli reported
that Apple shipments fell 4 percent during the quarter, though this was partly
attributable to short supply.
"Apple's decline in the second quarter was because of the transition
from the iPhone 3G S to the iPhone 4," iSuppli reported. "The iPhone
3G S was reaching the end of its life, causing sales to drop off. Meanwhile,
Apple had trouble keeping up with iPhone 4 demand, resulting in the small
decline in shipments."
Apple's market share fell from 15.7 percent during the first quarter to 13.9
percent during the second, with units dropping from 8.8 million to 8.4 million.
Still, its figures were strong enough, wrote Teng, for Apple to maintain "a
firm grip" on third place in the global smartphone market.
Total smartphone sales during the quarter reached 60.4 million units, up from
55.8 million units during the first quarter, representing a growth of 8.2