Gartner is reporting that worldwide sales of mobile phones running Android OS have surpassed iPhone sales for the second quarter of 2010. 10.6 million phones running the Android OS shipped during the last quarter, representing a 17.2% 2010 market share, compared to 8.74 million iOS phones, representing a 14.2% 2010 market share. The two top dogs are still Symbian, with 41.2% of the market and RIM with 18.2% of the market.
Google's cheerleaders may cry foul, but to be fair to Apple, during the quarter they shipped exactly 3 phone models with iOS on them while carriers shipped over 20 different models of Android phones. We could also mention that a true Apples-to-apples comparison would include the non-phone iOS devices (the iPod touch and iPad) which continue to expand the iOS installed base at a furious pace.
Also, Apple was dealing with a transition to iPhone 4, which lead to constraint issues with the iPhone 3G and 3GS. As Gartner pointed out in its report, "Apple's sales would have been higher if it had not had to face tight inventory management in preparation for the arrival of the iPhone 4 at the end of the second quarter of 2010. Apple also suffered from some supply constraint on the new device. We expect that a wider global roll out of iPhone 4 will sustain Apple's sales momentum throughout the second half of 2010."
Will the rest of 2010 be the Revenge of the iOS? The fact that the iPhone 4 is still sold out at over half of Apple's US retail stores is a big check mark in the "yes" column. Whichever way this goes, it looks like one thing is certain -- RIM is virtually sure to lose its second place position next quarter as both Android and iOS phones increase in popularity and market saturation.