Nov 01 AT 5:56 PM Nick Gray 23 Comments

Android becomes #1 smartphone OS, Q3 numbers 1,309% higher than last year

If you haven’t heard, the Android OS is pretty popular these days.  Both the NPD and Canalys have released their Q3 numbers, which paint a pretty picture for our favorite green mascot.  Some of us were expecting Android’s unprecedented growth to slow down just a bit after the huge numbers posted in Q2, but that simply was not the case.

The numbers from Canalys show that Android sales in Q3 of 2010 were up 1,309 percent over the same quarter last year.  To put that into perspective, Android has gone from roughly 3% of smartphone sales in Q3 of 2009 to over 43% just one year later.  The tremendous growth puts Android at 17 percentage points ahead of Apple’s iOS phones and over 40 percentage points over Microsoft’s Windows Mobile.

NPD’s analysis basically sums up the same story.  While we all like to take a few jabs at Apple when we can; Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD points out that “Much of Android’s quarterly share growth came at the expense of RIM, rather than Apple. The HTC EVO 4G, Motorola Droid X, and other new high-end Android devices have been gaining momentum at carriers that traditionally have been strong RIM distributors, and the recent introduction of the BlackBerry Torch has done little to stem the tide. ”

The folks over at NPD were also kind enough to share their list of top 5 best selling handsets for the quarter.  The Apple iPhone 4 did come out on top, but Android did have the Motorola DROID X and the HTC EVO 4G as great brand ambassadors on the list.

With a handful of new devices expected to arrive before the holiday season, Android’s growth is far from over.  What percentage of the smartphone market sales will Android have under its belt once the Q4 numbers are in?

Source: NPD

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. Nick joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Matt Demers

    I have a feeling Q4 will be visibly different because of iPhone 4/iPad/iOS4, the holiday season, and expiring contracts. People prepared to use these stats to rub things in the face of Apple users must prepare themselves for that fact.

    • http://Website Alakar

      So you really think holiday sales will be higher then the sales around launch? I want some of what you’re smoking.

      Apple is painting themselves into the same corner they did with their PC’s. Walled garden exclusiveness that will leave them, in the end, a niche player. There is no doubt that Apple and Steve Jobs are great designers and produce beautiful hardware and software, but that can’t overcome the fact that everything is locked down (one hardware supplier, one carrier, one price point, set by Apple). They tried this with Mac, and DOS/Win now dominate the market. They will get the same results with iOS vs Android.

  • http://Website Nithin Jino

    I am not surprised. More carriers, more phones, more types of phones, phones for all types of people, phones of all price range, phones of all looks, colors, and material is all win.

    iOS is on 3 devices, locked to one carrier (in the U.S.A for now), all phones look alike, the white version is now a mythical beast (some claim it to be true but so far, no one seen it in their pockets), and walled garden is all blah.

  • keridel

    and yet we still have an awful crappy face book app. its soo dispiriting…

    i am campaigning to get a new one.

    please help

  • ayocuz

    As a person who plans on upgrading my nexus one to probably that my touch 4g or possibly the rumored nexus two I would say at least 23% world wide. The growth of android has been more than the previous quarter every quarter.

  • http://Website matt

    no one can stop the tidal wave of android awsomeness. no one!!!

  • http://Website Denimourson

    How our little android has grown from 1.6(donut)

    • http://Website Nithin Jino

      Replace 1.6 with 1.0 and be amazed

      • SGB101

        Lol, I had 1.1 on my g1 and omg it was bad, we sure have come along way.

        1.5 was the turning point for me. Loved my g1 ever since the update arrived.

        Just purchased a desire hd today and it rocks wooo hooo !!!

        • http://Website DRew

          I WANT ONE! That’s my dream phone.. I wish Tmo would snap it up already..

  • http://JustSayNotoiFails John Draper

    Apple claimed fame thorough the Blue Box – 1984

    Apple now is datamining all their employees and customer in house – 2010 (now big brother)

  • http://Website Droidless Bill

    With numbers like those, AT&T better step up their game. Once iPhone hits Verizon, AT&T’s lineup will be pretty weak.

  • Mobile Brazzer

    When you consider that Android is just now hitting its stride with 2.2+

    and you also consider all the carriers, pricepoints and devices (with plenty more on the way) involved..

    this just makes sense. We will likely see this same growth until Android is the biggest thing in mobile, and Apple/Rim are whittled down to their core followers.

    Apple simply can’t keep up- going viral like this is not Job’s vision, and RIM will become quickly replaced as Android starts to adopt its special features.

    But in essence, the fact that Android is not device/carrier specific makes one expect this kind of result.

  • http://Website DRoberts

    I knew the day that T-Mobile announced “G1″, that ios would fall. I have been with Android from the start. I don’t consider myself a “dev”, but I do tend to ROOT every Android phone that I get. The flexability of Android roms and hardware makes me ask the question of “Do I want to be (NEO) or just another body plugged into the Matrix.” [FREE YOUR MIND!!!]

  • http://Website DRoberts


    Green pill anyone?

    • http://Website The_Omega_Man

      I seem to remember many any Apple iPhone fan saying in the 2nd quarter, “Just wait until the 3rd quarter results come out… when the iPhone 4 has been on the market for at least one quarter, it will knock Android off of it’s perch! You just wait!” Well Mr. Jobs and crew have thrown everything and the kitchen sink at Android and the OHA partners, and guess what has happened so far. That was Gas Mr. Jobs, that you are throwing at a lit match! ;-P

  • Garar

    While Android is still growing like crazy you can bet those market share increases of 1309% aren’t going to be around come Q4 from last years Q4, because that’s when the Droid hit, and that did a number for the market share of Android when it came out.

  • Learn Java

    Google has been advising web developers on how to prepare sites and apps for its TV platform, and Google TV’s universal search will present web search results right next to local and cable TV content. Google TV is based on Android, which also uses Webkit as its default browser.

  • http://Website Vollhorst

    Apple iPhone is a fashion product and what happens to every fashion good? It goes out of fashion one day. Android has nothing to do with fashion so it’s not a passing fancy.
    Admitted, the iPhone created some momentum in the smartphone market (similar as the iPad did in the tablet pc market) but it never grew enough to saturate the market. This is the role Android plays better.

  • http://Website Jared

    A lot of you are referencing apple but their market share has been mostly unchanged. RIM is the one that should be really worried, they are surviving on BBM for the consumer market and once people start realizing that half their friends don’t have blackberries, they will transition to PingChat, Whatsapp, etc.
    When they do that, they are letting go of the only thing tying them to blackberry.

    • http://Website DRoberts

      I have to ask, why is anyone who owns an Android even worried about RIM. RIM is only two steps ahead of APPLE and Android is a couple of city blocks ahead of both.


      C: adb push < /sdcard/system/apps/REBOOTINTOGREEN.exe

  • http://Website Heterpunt

    State the country your stats are for next time.

  • mario_1603