Gartner has released data on smartphones sales to end users for the fourth quarter of 2011.
Google's Android is now firmly the top operating system with a 50.9% market share. These figures are more significant that that Apple's iPhone 4S was released in this quarter.
Apple's iOS holds 23.8% of the market. With Apple launching in China in Q1 of 2012 we expect that it will also have a good first quarter in 2012.
Symbian is down to 11.7% from 32.3% at the same time during the previous year. The lost 20% went to Android and iOS. Microsoft and Nokia are hoping that they can migrate this 11.7% to Windows Phone 7, but Nokia slow roll-out of Windows handsets is worrisome. It really is now or never, and Nokia seems to be taking it sweet time rolling out in its bailiwick in the developing world markets having focus on the United States and Europe.
RIM/BlackBerry's market share has slid below double figures.
Microsoft's market share has gone down from 3.4% in Q4 2010 to 1.9% in Q4 2011. But Phonearena points out that most of the Microsoft phones sold in Q4 2010 were actually older low priced Windows Mobile handsets. They estimate that 500,000 Windows Phone devices were sold in Q4 2010, while all of the 2.7 million Microsoft devices were sold in Q4 2011 were Windows Phone devices.
So that is where it stands. Android and iOS continue to make gains. Time is running out for Windows Phone and BlackBerry.