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Android Leads UK Smartphone Race

Posted by Andrew at 1:40 PM on November 1, 2011

Android LogoIn the UK, Android is beginning to dominate the smartphone space, with 50% of handsets sold in the last quarter running Android. RIM (Blackberry) and Apple are almost level pegging on 22% and 18% and with half of UK adults now owning a smartphone, Android has an impressive lead.

Breaking the Android figures down, HTC is the top dog, with nearly 45% of Android handsets sold. Samsung is picking up the pace at 38% but Sony Ericsson is the big loser, falling to 8.5% of the Android market.

Surprisingly, this means that HTC, Samsung, RIM and Apple are each taking about a quarter of the market. Compared with mindshare that Apple generally has and the dominance in the tablet market, it’s clear that the iPhone is under performing.

Personally, I would agree with the figures. Looking round the office, Android phones are definitely in the majority followed by iPhones and Blackberries. I think Blackberries are popular with younger people as both my nephews have that brand of phone. The breakdown of the Android shares also rings true. This time last year, it would have been exclusively HTC smartphones but now there are quite a few people sporting Samsung devices.

The research was carried out by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech over the past 12 weeks. To be fair, this probably means that iPhone sales were down as people waited for new model but there’s no doubt that Android is the no.1 smartphone OS in the UK.

 

Motorola-Android

Motorola-Android

Google announced this morning that it will be acquiring Motorola Mobility for $40 a share – $12.5 billion total. With it, come 24000 patents on mobile devices, in which 70-80% will most likely move right into Android technologies. Is this a major win for Google and their partners?

Motorola Mobility started in 1928[Wiki]. They pioneered mobile devices starting with the StarTAC in 1996. Motorola Mobility also invented the flip phone and their most successful handset – the RAZR - was the most popular phone from 2004 to 2008 (when the iPhone surpassed it).

“This transaction offers significant value for Motorola Mobility’s stockholders and provides compelling new opportunities for our employees, customers, and partners around the world” said Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility. “We have shared a productive partnership with Google to advance the Android platform, and now through this combination we will be able to do even more to innovate and deliver outstanding mobility solutions across our mobile devices and home businesses.”

24,000 patents, ranging from initial cellular connections all the way to current technologies, are also a part of that purchase. This means that Android has a better chance of warding off most other patent lawsuit disputes, which seems to be a key to a smartphone or tablet.

It’s also a great advantage to Android partners Samsung, HTC, Sony-Ericcson and LG-Electronics. Motorola had several Android-based smartphones themselves, including the Droid and Droid 2.

“The combination of Google and Motorola will not only supercharge Android, but will also enhance competition and offer consumers accelerating innovation, greater choice, and wonderful user experiences.”Says Larry Page. “I am confident that these great experiences will create huge value for shareholders. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.”

With this news, the mobile eco-system might take a major turn. Google has some major firepower behind their Android system now. While not all technologies they purchased might not be viable in today’s tech market, they could be a basis for modified technology based on original patents.

Have you switched to an Android phone yet? Do you have a Droid3? What are your thoughts on this acquisition?

Official Google Press Release