The iPhone took 15.4 percent of the whole thing (up 5 points). Android is up 8 points to 9.6 per cent. What’s critical here is that all other smartphones lost relative share, though unit sales climbed.
Android is now the fourth largest operating system, displacing Windows Mobile, which is now the fifth place player. The iPhone is rapidly catching up with Research In Motion, which sits in second place.
“In the first quarter of 2010, smartphone sales to end users saw their strongest year-on-year increase since 2006,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.
“This quarter saw RIM, a pure smartphone player, make its debut in the top five mobile devices manufacturers, and saw Apple increase its market share by 1.2 percentage points. Android’s momentum continued into the first quarter of 2010, particularly in North America, where sales of Android-based phones increased 707 percent year-on-year.
If those figures are accurate, Apple could overtake Research In Motion this year, seizing second place position in the smartphone business.
With Android also on the uptick, it seems possible the smartphone industry is heading to becoming a three-horse race. Analyst Ashok Kumar sees Apple and Google as the likely winners of this game.
Expect more news on Apple and Google during the day, as Google’s annual developers conference takes place in San Francisco.
Chart source: Gartner