iPhone suffers as Android buoys Linux cause

G1 and only

G1 and only

Google's open mobile OS platform Android is buoying the fortunes of Linux-powered smartphones. The news for Apple's iPhone, however, is not so good.

According to analyst house Gartner, the iPhone saw a quarter-on-quarter sales decline in Q4 08 as the device took 10.7 per cent share of the smartphone market, compared to 12.9 per cent share the previous quarter.

Despite its decline in market share, the iPhone-maker held onto its third place global ranking among smartphone makers - behind first-placed Nokia with 40.8 per cent share and BlackBerry-maker RIM with 19.5 per cent.

HTC - which makes the Google-powered G1 Android device - came fourth, with 4.3 per cent market share; followed by Samsung (4.2 per cent) which made its debut in the top five vendors, usurping Sharp in the process.

Linux took 8.4 per cent marketshare of smartphone OSes in Q4 08, compared to 7.2 per cent the previous quarter - an increase of 19.4 per cent on the same period in 2007. Gartner said the rise was mainly due to Android-based smartphones being launched through T-Mobile during Q4.

While Linux is currently trailing Mac OS X for smartphone market share, it's not a situation expected to last for long. Android-powered smartphone sales are set to overtake iPhone sales by 2012, a recent report by analyst Informa Telecoms & Media predicted.

Global smartphone sales growth slowed to just 3.7 per cent in Q4 08, according to Gartner.