After jumping over RIM's BlackBerry OS to turn into the most widely used mobile operating system in the United States, Google's Android OS is now on track to take over the number two spot worldwide by the end of 2010, according to analysts at the Gartner Group.
In the U.S., the Android OS swapped places with the BlackBerry OS during the second quarter of this year, a three-month period which featured new product releases of Android OS phones from manufacturers that included HTC, Samsung, and Sony-Ericsson.
"A non-exclusive strategy that produces products selling across many communication service providers (CSPs), and the backing of so many device manufacturers, which are bringing more attractive devices to market at several different price points, were among the factors that yielded its growth this quarter," said Carolina Milanesi, a Gartner research VP, in a statement.
Android OS Dislodges Apple's iOS OS Worldwide
On a worldwide basis, the Android OS overtook Apple's iOS to step into third place, also in the second quarter. In an interview with Dow-Jones Newswire, Milanesi predicted that Android OS will land in second place worldwide by the fourth quarter of this year, outdone only by the Symbian OS, which is widely used in Europe.
Also during the second quarter, HTC made it into Gartner's top ten list of manufacturers for worldwide mobile device sales. In a report, Gartner attributed HTC's rise into eighth place to the popularity of its Android OS product portfolio, along with the more aggressive branding strategy developed by HTC over the past year.
Among the mobile device makers, Nokia, Samsung and LG took the three top spots worldwide, in that order. RIM hung on to fourth place, and Apple stayed in seventh place for mobile devices, while also remaining in third place in the smartphone category.
Apple Struggles with ‘Supply Constraints'
Gartner noted that new devices running BlackBerry OS 6.0 -- featuring new capabilities such as RIM's first Touchscreen slider, the BlackBerry Torch -- will be available starting in the third quarter
The analysts predicted, however, that while the Torch will keep many loyal BlackBerry users from straying to other phone environments, it won't be enough to lure in new customers.
Gartner also pointed out that Apple's sales during the second quarter would have been higher if the iPhone 4 hadn't faced "supply constraints" and "tight inventory management" in the launch of its latest phone.
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