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Android sales beat iOS in Q1

Apple still in third place, as market share shows small increase

Android rose to become the dominant mobile operating system in the world during the first three months of 2011, with Apple's iOS only gaining a small amount of market share over the previous year.

According to a report published by research group Gartner, Android commanded a market share of 36.0 per cent in Q1, up from just 9.6 per cent at the same time in 2010. This represents a total installed userbase of almost 36.3 million smartphones.

In 2010 the most successful OS was Symbian, with a massive 44.2 per cent market share. This has fallen to 27.4 per cent in 2011 and will continue to fall as Nokia abandons the technology in favour of Windows Phone 7.

In the interim though Microsoft's mobile operating systems remained the lowest rank individual OS, with market share falling from 6.8 per cent to 3.6 percent over the course of the last 12 months.

Blackberry makers RIM also saw a fall in market share, from 19.7 per cent to 12.9 per cent, while Apple's iOS saw only a small increase from 15.3 per cent to 16.8 per cent - for a new installed base of around 16.9 million devices.

"Every time a user downloads a native app to their smartphone or puts their data into a platform's cloud service, they are committing to a particular ecosystem and reducing the chances of switching to a new platform," claims the Gartner report.

"As well as putting their devices in the context of a broader ecosystem, manufacturers must start to see their smartphones as part of a computing continuum."

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David Jenkins