Q3 Data: iPhone Top Individual Handset, but Android King of Operating Systems

Two sets of data are out this morning from Canalys and NPD group measuring handset sales in Q3 2010. These are Q3 numbers only; not overall marketshare figures. They show directional momentum but not total marketshare or absolute number of units shipped.


Global: Apple had a 17% share of smartphones; RIM has 15% share this quarter. US: Apple had a 26% share, RIM fell behind Apple (as IDC and others have confirmed). Android phones  ("OHA" in the chart below) collectively captured the largest share of Q3 shipments at 43.6%.

Picture 45


Here are the top selling US handsets in Q3 according to NPD; four out of five were smartphones:

  1. Apple iPhone 4 (smartphone)
  2. BlackBerry Curve 8500 series (smartphone)
  3. LG Cosmos (messaging phone)
  4. Motorola Droid X (smartphone)
  5. HTC EVO 4G (smartphone)

Android's growth was dramatic, moving from a 3% share in Q3 2009 to a 44% share in Q3 2010. Apple and RIM's share of shipments declined relatively speaking -- RIM's significantly. Here are the YoY Q3 numbers according to NPD:

  • Android: 3% --> 44%
  • iPhone: 29% --> 23%
  • RIM: 46% --> 22%

Again it must be emphasized that these numbers are Q3 only and don't reveal absolute unit sales or shipments. Clearly, however, Android -- with its several carrier relationships and multiple hardware OEMs -- has got tremendous momentum in the US. 

We'll see what happens when the iPhone finally goes on sale at Verizon. But it's probably about a year too late to slow Android's momentum. RIM, for its part, has got to be increasingly concerned that its momentum is in the wrong direction.