Android to overtake Symbian as smartphone leader in 2011

Google's Nexus S - another new Android handset
Google's Nexus S - another new Android handset

IDC's European phone tracker has suggested that Android is about to move past Symbian to be the most used smartphone OS in 2011 across Western Europe.

IDC's figures are suggesting there has been a 7.5 per cent increase in mobile phone sales in Q3 of 2010 – up to 50.7 million handsets.

But smartphone sales are up a whopping 109 per cent compared to the same quarter of last year.

In fact 19 million units have been shifted in the three month period, 37 per cent of all handsets sold.

Android win

And it is Android that is benefiting hugely, with Google's operating system shipping on 4.3 million devices, just 200,000 behind Apple's iPhone, and closing in on market leader Symbian.

Apple, however, also had a strong quarter – and is now at number 3 in the manufacturers list behind Nokia and Samsung, and ahead of the likes of Sony Ericsson and LG.

"In the third quarter, 24 of the 45 Android devices available in Western Europe were launched," said Francisco Jeronimo, European mobile devices research manager, IDC.

"This shows how actively phone makers are seeding operators with new Android models to meet market demand.


"The operating system is very popular among consumers due to its intuitive user interface, increasing number of free applications, and very competitive prices compared with other devices on the market," he added

"It's also important to point out that the strong volumes Apple shipped during the quarter took it to third position among the biggest manufacturers in Western Europe, which is an impressive achievement after the antenna problems and the criticism the iPhone received when it was launched."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.