Android claims top spot over Symbian in global smartphone shipments

Worldwide smart phone marketBritish research firm Canalys announced today that Android has officially dethroned Symbian as the world’s most popular smartphone platform. The Nokia-backed OS has long-held the top spot, but Canalys reports that “Shipments of Android-based smartphones reached 32.9 million, while devices running Nokia’s Symbian platform trailed slightly at 31.0 million worldwide.”

Nokia only just reclaimed Symbian operations in November after manufacturers were being lured away by Android. The platform has struggled recently to compete against the likes of RIM, Android, and Apple, and developer interest in the OS has waned. Still, Nokia has resisted jumping on bored with Android because, it claims, the OS doesn’t allow manufacturers enough room to define their brands.

While Nokia and Symbian have undeniably struggled, particularly with North American consumers, it’s important to note that the numbers from Canalys reflect handsets shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010. Nokia remains the number one global smartphone retailer, with a market share of 28 percent (The New York Times claims this number is actually 31 percent, according to Boston research firm Strategy Analytics). But despite its overall global presence, Nokia knows it can only ride its former popularity for so long, and warns investors its profit margin will drop somewhere between seven and 10 percent. The cell phone maker revealed fourth quarter numbers, saying it gave a “solid performance,” but admitted “the industry changed, and now it’s time for Nokia to change.” This seems to reference the fact that it’s been unable to offer a competent high-end smartphone OS thus far, and CEO Stephen Elop will share Nokia’s new strategy for Symbian and Meego at next month’s Mobile World Congress. This new strategy could include partnering with Microsoft on a new Windows Phone 7 model, which has been rumored recently.

But Android’s success isn’t only in thanks to Symbian’s struggle. Canalys noted that strong sales from retailers like LG, Samsung, Acer, and HTC are also responsible.

Overall market growth was additionally phenomenal this year. Over 2010, shipments reached 101.2 million and in the fourth quarter, skyrocketed to an 80 percent growth since 2009. The US also shipped the most handheld devices, with RIM, Apple, and HTC taking top spots.

Mobile

Which smartphone manufacturers won and lost in 2018

As the curtain comes down on 2018, we take a look at the big successes and failures in the smartphone market over the last 12 months. Which phone maker had the best year, and who had a year to forget?
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Deals

Save up to $800 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $800.
Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.
Mobile

Doubts emerge over when LG will reveal its folding smartphone

LG may be working on a folding smartphone, making it the latest device manufacturer to be linked to the technology, which may become one of the standout designs of the coming year.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Mobile

You forgot all about these 6 phones of 2018. Prepare to forget them again

The best phones of the year are memorable, exciting, and ones we all want to buy. But what about the others? We're not talking about bad phones, we're talking about forgettable phones -- ones that aren't even bad enough to be remembered.
Mobile

Give Rachael Ray a run for her money with these 13 recipe apps

You don’t have to be Gordon Ramsay to make a killer meal, you just need an easy to follow recipe app. We’ve compiled our 13 favorite cooking apps for Android smartphones and iPhones, including countless recipes to suit any taste.
Mobile

T-Mobile is giving away free iPhone XRs and Galaxy S9s for the holidays

T-Mobile is celebrating the holiday season with a series of deals for customers who want an iPhone XR, Galaxy S9, OnePlus 6T, LG V40, or LG G7. There are terms and conditions to the deals, but they are still worth considering.
Mobile

Why Honor’s new screen is the hole-y grail in quest to ditch the notch

Honor will release a smartphone with an in-screen camera in the new year, a trend which is gathering momentum in the industry. Honor said it has cracked the formula, and explains what's special about its All-View Display.
Mobile

Forget 3 being a crowd, 4 is the magic number on the Huawei P30 Pro

Huawei's sequel to the P20 Pro, the P30 Pro, has already started to leak ahead of its 2019 announcement and release. The company is likely to improve even further on the P20 Pro's excellent camera.
Mobile

How to use Samsung’s Bixby assistant for all of your smartphone tasks

Samsung Bixby is a powerful tool, but not the most intuitive one we've encountered. Here's how to set up and use every feature of Samsung's digital assistant, as well as what to expect in the future.
Mobile

Declutter your life with our favorite wireless chargers for Android and iPhones

We checked out the best wireless phone chargers to make tangles and uncooperative ports a thing of the past. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, find out which wireless charging pads are worth buying, and how their features compare.
Mobile

AT&T makes 5G a reality for a dozen U.S. cities, with more to come in 2019

Ready to experience a radical transformation in mobile communication? AT&T is launching mobile 5G in cities across the country over the next few months. Here's everything you need to know about the AT&T 5G rollout.