According to research firm NPD, Android maintains the lead for Q2 2011 with a US smartphone market share of 52 percent. It’s not surprising since the platform has been on top for the past several months with plenty of manufacturer support from Samsung, LG, HTC, and Motorola. Back in July, it was even reported that Google activates on average 550,000 new Android devices daily.
Apple’s iOS trails behind in second place with a 29 percent market share after a slight quarterly gain, while RIM’s BlackBerry OS share fell to 11 percent. Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile, and the now defunct webOS remained steady at less than 5 percent market share each.
Although Android momentum is going strong, fragmentation issues continue to plague the platform as its device makers are in heated competition to differentiate. Motorola, which has perhaps been around the longest in the mobile space, has now become the weakest of the bunch, having seen an overall mobile phone market share drop to 9 percent. Its share of the smartphone market also declined to 12 percent, while its year-over-year Android device sales dropped in half from 44 percent to 22 percent. In contrast, both Samsung and LG experienced significant gains.
“Google’s acquisition of Motorola shifts the balance of power in the handset-patent conflict between Google and its operating system competitors,” said NPD executive director of industry analysis Ross Rubin. “Android’s momentum has made for a large pie that is attractive to Motorola’s Android rivals, even if they must compete with their operating system developer.”
Rubin believes that Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility may help revive the floundering phone maker, saying that “closer ties to the heart of Android can help inspire new paths to differentiation.” Additionally, he believes that prepaid smartphones will be a rapidly growing market where Motorola can make up ground.