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Android overtakes Symbian in the Asia Region

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According to market research company GfK Asia, smartphones continue to register exponential growth in Asia in the last 12 months with over 4.7 million units of smartphones worth over USD1.48 billion being retailed in quarter three this year. It now occupies nearly half of the entire handset sales pie.

"Smartphones are the key drivers of the telecommunications industry at this moment. GfK's retail audit findings are showing impressive, almost three-fold increase in value of the industry when we compare sales figures from the latest quarter to the same quarter a year ago," said Mr Gerard Tan, Regional Account Director for Telecommunications, GfK Asia. "While only 1.27 million smartphones were sold in the third quarter of last year, over 4.7 million units were sold in the same quarter this year, signifying a growth of nearly 270 percent!"

With the rapid rise of smartphones, an operating system (OS) war is also heating up among major manufacturers in Asia who are scrambling to introduce their smartphones on a more popular and user-friendly platform. Symbian, previously the leading OS since the second half of last year, is facing intense competition from the Android OS which has been registering strong growth in the second and third quarters of 2010.

"Our Q3 report shows that Android has recently overtaken Symbian as the most popular smartphone OS in the context of Asia as a whole, in both value and unit sales. However, it is interesting to note the difference in OS trends when we look at findings in North and Southeast Asia separately," highlighted Mr. Tan.

In North Asia, the smartphone OS competition is probably at its most intense as OS shares fluctuate vigorously in reaction to strategic and tactical initiatives from major manufacturers. Growth of the Android OS started escalating at the beginning of 2010 and managed to overtake iphone OS, the second most popular platform in quarter two this year.

In the Southeast Asia region however, Symbian has been the leading smartphone OS and continues its lead albeit gradually declining sales. Since the beginning of the year, Android, RIM and iPhone OS have been enjoying gains in the smartphone segment at the expense of Symbian OS.

"With the myriad of mobile operating systems available in the Asia market right now, manufacturers have to look beyond hardware to succeed in this market" concluded Mr. TanPopularity of smartphones continues to skyrocket with one in every five handsets being purchased in the Asia region* in the last quarter (Jul-Sept10) being a smartphone.

Handset Sales in Asia by OS

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Tags: symbian  android  os  operating system