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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

One-in-Two #Smartphones are #Android


Google's Android operating system captured nearly 50 percent of the smartphone market worldwide, according to research firm Canalys, dominating the Asia-Pacific region and intensifying its battle with rival Apple
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company, which acquired Android in 2005 and released it in 2008, saw the platform surge to 48 percent of the market, and shipped nearly 52 million devices in the April-June period, a 379-percent boost from a year ago.
Chief rival Apple, meanwhile, captured 19 percent of the market, and shipped over 20 million iPhones in the second quarter, overtaking struggling Nokia as the world's largest individual vendor. Unlike Android, which is used by a consortium of handset makers, including HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung, Apple works alone.

"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,' said Chris Jones, a Canalys analyst.
The Android-iPhone debate mirrors Apple's battle with Microsoft over PC operating systems -- whether a tightly-controlled and integrated environment is better than an open-source approach. While the outcome is still unknown, Google seems to be gaining momentum.
Android will continue to solidify its growing dominance of the smartphone market, with a slate of devices by various handset makers being released this fall, such as Motorola's Droid Bionic.
The array of phones featuring Android, as well as the several versions of the OS, have attracted criticisms of fragmentation. But Google is addressing these with tighter oversight of manufacturer modifications to Android, with an eye to a more consistent user experience across the board.
Apple, for its part, is gearing to launch the iPhone 5 this fall. The most recent speculation points at an October release for the next-generation iOS handset, but overall, not much has been confirmed about the phone. However, the iPhone 5 is guaranteed to capture significant consumer interest, and will continue to boost Apple's momentum as a market leader.
Regardless, as consumers shift to smartphones, Google and Apple are becoming the two major players in the platform wars. Microsoft, once a dominant force, has since struggled to attract customers to its Windows Phone 7 software.
Microsoft has since partnered with the equally ailing Nokia, in an effort to push out a portfolio of Windows phones by 2012.

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