Canalys: Android growth will double competition in 2011January 13, 2011: 11:02 AM ET
Fragmentation and the Verizon iPhone will not limit Android growth.
In a report today, Canalys remained rosy on Google's (GOOG) Android. According to its Q3 2010 estimates, the Google-backed platform already claims 25% of the worldwide smart phone market. Those numbers are expected to grow significantly in 2011.
"The growth of Android has been phenomenal, but so too has the number of related devices launched with different hardware and software specifications," said Canalys principal analyst Chris Jones. "This has led to the market perception of it as a fragmented platform, though we believe that growth will continue as the pace of Android OS upgrades slows."
According to Canalys, vendors working on Android have taken advantage of the open source platform to push prices down and bring smart phones to the mass market. As a result, Android shipments grew more than 1,000% through the first three quarters of 2010 over the same period in 2009.
Hardware manufacturers are cutting prices, which means that a lot more people on feature phones with cheap plans will be able to make the leap to smartphones without incurring many additional charges.