Android has further consolidated its status as the leading global smartphone operating system, according to data released by both Gartner and the Millennial Media mobile ad network.
Gartner Research reported today that manufacturers shipped 36.3 million Android-based devices in the first quarter of 2011, more than six times the 5.2 million Android devices shipped in the first quarter of 2010. More significantly, Android has nearly quadrupled its share of the mobile device market, leaping from 9.6 percent of all devices shipped in Q1 2010 to 36 percent of all devices shipped in Q1 2011. What's more, Gartner says that the second quarter of 2011 could be another good one for Android device shipments as HTC, Sony Ericsson, Alcatel and ZTE are all planning "a broader portfolio of mid-tier devices, mainly based on Android" to be launched throughout the spring and early summer.
[ Learn how to manage iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys, and other smartphones in InfoWorld's 20-page Mobile Management Deep Dive PDF special report. | Keep up on key mobile developments and insights via Twitter and with the Mobile Edge blog and Mobilize newsletter. ]
Android's surge in the mobile OS market has come as Symbian, which has traditionally been the top mobile OS in the world, has seen its share of the market collapse from 44.2 percent in Q1 2010 to 27.4 percent in Q12011. Nokia announced earlier this year that it was discontinuing the use of Symbian and would instead put Windows Phone 7 on its devices going forward.
Gartner's data wasn't the only good news for Android released today, as the latest figures released by mobile advertising firm Millennial Media show that Android has surpassed Apple's iOS as the platform that generates the most advertising impressions on Millennial Media's network. Last month, Android phones accounted for 53 percent of all ad impressions on the network, versus 28 percent for Apple's iOS and 16 percent for Research in Motion's BlackBerry OS. Android and iOS were deadlocked atop Millennial Media's rankings as recently as last December, when each accounted for 38 percent of all impressions on the network.