Android Tops Smartphones but Tablets Still Seeking Foothold

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Tech research firm, Canalys, has crowned Android the new king of smartphones, with fourth quarter shipments estimated at 33.3 million handsets—a whopping 615% increase over Q4 of 2009. Smartphone shipments, in general, grew 80% in 2010 versus 2009.

In the fourth quarter, Nokia’s Symbian platform fell to second place with 31 million shipments, yet still managed to grow 30% year-on-year. Apple shipped 16.2 million iPhones representing an 86% increase over Q4 in 2009, and RIM shipped 14.6 million BlackBerrys for a 36% increase over last year as well.

Microsoft saw a 20% decrease versus Q4 2009, though the report points out that “Windows Phone 7 devices appeared too late in the quarter to take full advantage of holiday season purchasing.”

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Another, separate report indicates that Android tablets “captured 22 percent of global tablet shipments” in Q4 2010, while the iPad accounted for 75% of tablets shipped in the same quarter. That sounds mighty impressive at first glance, especially considering that most of the Android tablets available over the past quarter were Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.

However, it turns out that while Samsung has indeed shipped roughly two million Galaxy Tabs to stores, the number of Samsung tablets that have actually been sold to consumers has been, according to a Samsung VP, “quite small,” as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

More on TIME.com:

Dell’s 7-inch Tablet Hits Soon at $200, Competes with Galaxy Tab

Consumer Electronics Show: 11 Tech Trends for 2011

Tablets May Get All the Hype, But Smartphones Still Favored By Consumers

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