Android Most Popular Mobile OS, Bane of BlackBerry and Symbian

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A recent Gartner study on the mobile market during the first quarter of 2011 reveals that Google’s Android has become far and away the most popular mobile operating system, at the expenses of RIM’s BlackBerry OS and the once world-leading Symbian OS.

Nokia Abandons Symbian; Symbian Goes to Pieces
In the first quarter of 2010 the Symbian mobile operating system was far ahead of the competition, controlling a bit less than half of the market with a 44.2% share. Those glory days are gone however, and while more Symbian smartphones shipped so far in Q1 2011 than did in Q1 2010 (27.5 million versus 24 million), its market share plummeted 17 points to 27.4%.

Nokia has moved on, adopting Microsoft?s Windows Phone OS. However the ball has not yet really gotten rolling, as total sales and market share of devices running Windows Phone both dropped off. Microsoft?s mobile operating system managed to capture just 3.6% of the market in Q1 2011.

Android Climbs to the Top of the Pile
While Windows Phone is not picking away at the carrion Symbian and its market share have become, the Android OS is more than happy to do so. With just a 9.6% share in Q1 2010, Android has since gained much from Symbian?s losses and currently leads the market with a 36.0% share. Approximately 36.3 million Android devices were sold during the first quarter of 2011, making it easily the most popular OS on the block.

And the Rest
Despite doubling the number of units sold year over year (from 8.4 million to 16.8 million), iOS experienced a very small increase in market share. The iPhone OS had 15.3% of the market in Q1 2010, and 16.8% in Q1 2011.

RIM and its BlackBerryOS also showed an increase in number of units sold, but the market share of BlackBerryOS devices dropped precipitously (albeit not as dramatically as Symbian), falling from 19.7% to 12.9%. The setback comes during a time when RIM is trying to revamp its OS, and merge its homebrewed BlackBerryOS with the recently acquired QNX OS that it has running on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.

The full numbers for all of these OS?s can be found in the chart below.

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