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Android takes smart-phone lead from BlackBerry, iPhone

Android phones have replaced the BlackBerry and iPhone in popularity among new users, according to new data by Nielsen.

Statistics show that Google's operating system for mobile phones has become a greater threat in the dynamic and competitive market for wireless smart phones.

In August, 32 percent of new users (people who bought a phone within the past six months) purchased a device running on Google's operating system, more than double the portion of new users surveyed in January.

Research in Motion’s BlackBerry operating system and Apple's iPhone were behind at about 25 percent of the market each.

Overall, BlackBerry continues to dominate the smart-phone market for new and longer-term consumers with 31 percent of all sales. But that portion is down from 36 percent in January. Google's Android sales have more than doubled from 8 percent to 19 percent of all customers.

Fierce competition is not only being displayed in sales but in patent disputes between phone makers. Microsoft, which has trailed all operating systems, sued Motorola for allegedly infringing smart-phone patents related to e-mail, calendar and other applications. Apple and HTC have a back-and-forth patents dispute. In March, Apple sued Taiwan-based HTC, the manufacturer of such Android phones as the HTC Hero and Google's Nexus One (since taken off the market), alleging that it had infringed on 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone's user interface, underlying architecture and hardware. Separately, Apple was ordered by a Texas jury to pay more than $625 million to a computer science professor for alleged patent infringements.

By Cecilia Kang  | October 5, 2010; 5:00 PM ET
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Android runs on top of the Linux operating system. Linux is just as much the operating system for Android phones as it is for KDE or Gnome desktop PC's. The most serious potential legal issue for the Android platform is Oracle's suit. That is because Android clearly violates the constraints that Sun established for all Java implementations. When Microsoft attempted a superset of Java somewhat along the same lines as Android, Sun forced them to stop using Java. The fact that HTC has not been able to settle with Apple is also somewhat of a concern. It suggests that Apple is asking for something significantly more than the kind of settlement that HTC quickly reached with Microsoft.

Posted by: dnjake | October 5, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

You've got a critical piece of information missing here; iPhone is carried by one cell phone company: AT&T.

Android phones are carried by almost all of them (Including AT&T). If the iPhone were carried by all carriers, Android and the rest would probably get buried.

Posted by: chuckstjohn | October 5, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

All of this is because Steve Jobs is a fukn crackhead retard!!!!

If he would just put aside his retard huge ego, and realize that expanding to Verizon would put him back in the lead none of this would be happening.

But like i said, Jobs is a fuknut duhm Ahhss!!!


Posted by: BayAreaCAMale | October 5, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Of course free android OS is growing. but android is just the phone OS-just part of a smart phone. Do not compare to Iphone4-its complete smart phone. The columnist is comparing cummins diesel engine to MAN truck or an Orange seed versus Apple fruit.

Posted by: pinoyeto | October 5, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Dnjake says:

"The most serious potential legal issue for the Android platform is Oracle's suit. That is because Android clearly violates the constraints that Sun established for all Java implementations."

There is nothing clear at all. Android doesn't use a Java implementation. They've used Java-like synatax in the language, but Java is not just a language, it encompasses the JVM and the other runtime components *which do not exist on the Android*.

Oracle right now is panicked because (a) They bought Sun and can't figure out what they just spent all that money on (b) Oracle has p*ssed away billions to buy clunky old software and has no presence in the mobile market and no credible way to get their.

So their trying a hail-mary by suing Google. Unlike the other companies they role over, Google is just as ruthless as Oracle, and they have money to burn.

Google has done a complete clean-room implementation of their platform, they don't use the JVM. They're more than likely clear.

I would short Oracle, however.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | October 5, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

That's funny chuckstjohn. And you know this how? Believe me, if it wasn't ATT it would be the flash issue and if not that then .. pick it.

But that's what competition's for and we, including chuck, all benefit.

I just wish Apple didn't make it so easy for others. The better Apple does, the better the response must be. They're setting the bar too low.

Posted by: tslats | October 5, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

And Android is just now starting to pay for itself according to Google recently. They are finally making money off it. As opposed to Apple's iPhone, who has seen record profits.

Market share is great but not the whole success story. I would say profitability is, and none of them are even close.

That said, once Apple is on other carriers, these numbers are going to see a major shift.

Posted by: keithbporter | October 6, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

An alright report for a slow news day.
Better results and information have been released much much earlier than this article. Frankly, it doesn't even follow through to complete one story before adding in some random facts to lengthen the end.

Posted by: Mathlol1 | October 6, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

The minute Apple releases the iPhone to other carriers, AT&T will be bankrupt. This phone is all that has kept them in business. Ok, mostly then.
As far as the Android OS, it is very similar in usability, and seems to be leveling the playing field.

Be interesting to see if (assuming if) the iPhone is released to the likes of Verizon, and/or Sprint, exactly how this would shape the market.

The Apps for android are growing and as longs as folks can have fast multitouch features on a phone, I think the best performer will then come out on top.

Right now, the Samsung Galaxy Phones have a nice start in this regard.

Posted by: dijcks | October 6, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

So...two hours after most of the "experts" commenting here, Apple announces a new iPhone for Verizon in early 2011...what say you now?

Posted by: fredpierce | October 6, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

So...two hours after most of the "experts" commenting here, Apple announces a new iPhone for Verizon in early 2011...what say you now?

"Technology Alert
from The Wall Street Journal

Apple plans to begin mass producing a new iPhone by the end of 2010 that would allow Verizon Wireless to sell the smartphone early next year.

The new iPhone would be similar in design to the iPhone 4 currently sold by AT&T but would be based on an alternative wireless technology called CDMA used by Verizon. The phone, for which Qualcomm is providing a key chip, is expected to be released in the first quarter of next year."

Posted by: fredpierce | October 6, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

@fredpierce - You can stop spreading rumors now.

Posted by: gernblan | October 6, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

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