Apple’s iOS Plays Second Fiddle to Google’s Android

Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system accounted for 52% of smartphones sold during the second quarter of 2011, while Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) came in second with iOS for the iPhone with a 29% market share. While both Google and Apple increased their market shares last quarter, Research in Motion’s (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry OS fell to 11%. Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile, and Hewlett Packard’s (NYSE:HPQ) webOS held steady at less than 5% of the market each.

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Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) recent announcement that it would acquire Motorola could mean that Android will further expand its market share in the coming quarters. “Google’s acquisition of Motorola shifts the balance of power in the handset-patent conflict between Google and its operating system competitors,” said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for the NPD Group. “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.”

Motorola’s (NYSE:MMI) mobile phone market share fell to 9% in the second quarter, down 3% from the year earlier, while the company’s share of the smartphone market fell from 15% to 12%. Motorola’s unit share of Android OS sales also fell, from 44% last year to 22% in the most recent quarter, as Samsung and LG (NYSE:LPL) made significant advances. But Rubin says, “Closer ties to the heart of Android can help inspire new paths to differentiation” that will allow Motorola to regain some of that market share.

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According to NPD, pre-paid phones accounted for one in five new handsets purchased in the second quarter of 2011, and carriers continued to build their pre-paid smartphone plans, which increased their market share from 8% of all pre-paid phones to 22%. Because Android (NASDAQ:GOOG) is also the leading OS in the pre-paid market, Motorola has the opportunity to increase its market share there as well.

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