Analyst: Android Nabs Over Two-Thirds Of Q4 Smartphone Shipments


Analyst firm Canalys this week reported more good news for Google's mobile operating system.

According to Canalys' report, Android devices represented 34 percent of all fourth-quarter mobile phone shipments. In the smartphone segment, the news was even better -- Android accounted for 69 percent of the 216.5 million devices shipped in the final three months of 2012, up from the 52 percent it recorded in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The biggest winner among Android phone makers was none other than Samsung; the Korean technology company saw its Android smartphone shipments jump 78 percent. Apple also received good news, as iOS shipments grew from 15 percent in the third quarter to 22 percent in the fourth quarter, thanks to strong holiday sales of the iPhone 5.

[Related: Samsung's Galaxy SIII Vs. Galaxy SII (Video)]

Samsung and Apple again came in as the No. 1 and No. 2 smartphone makers in the world, respectively, according to Canalys. Meanwhile, Chinese vendors Lenovo, Huawei and ZTE also saw impressive, triple-digit growth for smartphone shipments in the quarter as a result of booming smartphone sales in China; in fact Huawei, came in third for total shipments for the first time, with ZTE in the fourth spot and Lenovo finishing fifth, pushing Sony out of the top five.

As for BlackBerry and Windows Phone, Canalys said their market share held steady at 4 percent and 2 percent, respectively. "BlackBerry, Microsoft and Nokia, as well as other Android vendors, have strategies and devices in place to attack, but the task is daunting to say the least," said Pete Cunningham, principal analyst at Canalys, in the report.

The Canalys report also made note of Lenovo's stated interest in acquiring a smartphone company like BlackBerry to fuel its growth outside of China. Lenovo's performance in the quarter made it one of the fastest-growing smartphone vendors in the world, the report said, growing 216 percent year-over-year.

"China made up 98 percent of Lenovo’s shipments with a handful of emerging markets making up the rest. Its struggle to gain a foothold in markets outside of China means that it may be forced down the acquisition route -- as it was with its PC business -- hence the speculation about BlackBerry," said Canalys analyst Jessica Kwee in a press statement.

PUBLISHED FEB. 8, 2013