Android topped the list of most popular smartphone operating systems, with 32.9 million units shipped in 2010.
According to a report released Monday by Canalys, a market research company, the Android platform beat out Nokia’s Symbian, Apple’s iOS, the BlackBerry OS, and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile for the top spot.
Android’s rise surprised the smartphone market. Canalys expected a few more quarters to pass before Android found itself the leading contender. The platform began 2010 with an 8.4 percent market share. By the end of the year, Android’s market share reached 32.5 percent.
While Nokia remains the largest smartphone vendor, with 28 percent of all smartphone shipments, the Symbian OS fell behind Android with a 30.6 percent market share.
Apple ended the year with a 16 percent market share, in spite of the growing popularity of its iPhone. The company shipped 16.2 million units in 2010.
Research In Motion, the parent company of BlackBerry OS, ended its year with a 14.4 percent market share.
The newly released Windows 7 finished its debut year with a market share of 3.1 percent. Sales of the new OS were stable, but the phones arrived too late to benefit from Christmas sales. It will be interesting to see how it fares in 2011.
Always looking for the newest technology, for 2011 smartphones hope to tap into the burgeoning 3-D market. Market experts also expect advances in dual-core processors and near-field communications.