IDC: Android partners see biggest gains in smartphone shipments

In a report released today, IDC said that smartphone makers who have partnered with Google to make Android devices are seeing the greatest growth in the smartphone market.
Written by Sam Diaz, Inactive

It was quite a first half of the year for smartphone makers, especially those who've partnered with Google to put out Android-powered phones. According to figures released by IDC today, Google's smartphone partners, including HTC and Samsung, posted the highest year-over-year growth rates in the research firms's second-quarter smartphone vendor rankings.

The firm notes that four of the top 10 vendors, all of which mostly ship Android phones, saw growth rates of more than 100 percent, with HTC being the top supplier, based on unit shipments. In a statement, IDC senior analyst Kevin Restivo said:

Emerging smartphone suppliers, such as HTC, that are allied closely with Google, gained share at the expense of the historic top smartphone players last quarter. This is largely a result of greater consumer interest in smartphones generally and Android devices in particular.

Overall, the smartphone market grew by 50 percent globally, compared to the previous year. In all, 63 million smartphones were shipped in the second quarter, up from 42 percent a year ago. For the first half of the year, 118.3 million smartphones were shipped, up 54 percent from the 76.8 million shipped during the first half of last year.

And the best is still yet to come.

The second half of 2010 is expected to see some "explosive growth" Yes, more smartphone models will be launched in the second half but, more importantly, the offerings will grow. BlackBerry, Symbian and Microsoft are all slated for an OS refresh, moves that should drive competitive pricing through the holiday season and into 2011.

According to the report, third place Apple is still the one to beat, despite a year-over-year dip in global shipments, which could be the result of anticipation around the launch of the iPhone 4 near the end of the quarter. Despite antenna issues and some backlash on iPhone 4, the company still benefits from high consumer awareness and international expansion that will take the device into 17 countries in the current quarter.

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