Just when we thought Apple
Market researcher Gartner has recently released its figures on the state of the smartphone market during the fourth quarter of 2011. The devices unsurprisingly put up massive cumulative growth, but who emerged as the clear winners and losers within?
Worldwide smartphone sales soared by 47% to 149 million in the fourth quarter, while that figure rocketed 58% to 472 million for the entire year. Gartner analyst Roberta Cozza attributed much of the strength to record iPhone sales, allowing Apple to become the No. 3 largest mobile phone purveyor in the world, passing LG in the process.
Looking at how the operating-system terrain has changed over the year, we see that Google expanded its market share lead to 50.9% in the fourth quarter, more than double the 23.8% share that iOS claimed. Symbian and Research In Motion
In the broader mobile-device market, Nokia
Why do Gartner's digits paint a stark contrast to those released by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech? Every researcher uses a different methodology to arrive at their figures, and while the discrepancy between these two releases is rather large, they do share one common theme: iOS and Android are unstoppable.
With iOS and Android leading the mobile revolution, some winners are hard to see -- because they're buried inside the gadgets. The proliferation of mobile gadgets is going to be breathtaking, and a handful of companies stand to rake in the profits as consumers snap up each year's latest and greatest models. We've just released a new special free report on "3 Hidden Winners of the iPhone, iPad, and Android Revolution." In it, you'll find three companies that supply crucial components that virtually every mobile device relies on. Check it out now -- it's free.
Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, Google, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google, Nokia, Apple, and Microsoft and creating bull call spread positions in Microsoft and Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.