Android acquires half the smartphone market, but for how long?

Big mobile news has just come in from research firm Canalys, as figures show how the top smartphone operating systems are fairing on the world market. Of particular interest is that Google's Android Operating System has captured 48 per cent of the smartphone market in Q2 2011.

Android also topped 35 out of the 56 countries involved in the figures, with big shares in South Korea, which came in at 85 per cent share, and 71 per cent in Taiwan.

Apple's iPhone platform is also doing very well with a 19 per cent market share, with the Cupertino company being the number one individual maker of smarphones in the world - recently knocking Nokia off its well-established perch

Android smartphones shipped in Q4 totalled a massive 51.9 million units, up 379 per cent on last year, whilst Apple managed just over 20 million.

In the UK alone 8 out of the top 10 most popular handsets are Android phones, according to stats published by Uswitch.com

Although Nokia's Symbian platform is struggling, it still holds ground in developing countries such as India and China, and should see growth in the smartphone hardware side of its business with the recent team up with Microsoft.

Part of Android's success has, no doubt, been its widespread adoption from a wide variety of mobile manufacturers meaning uptake has been swift; although some still see an issue with fragmentation, meaning some handsets are left on an outdated version whilst others are kept regularly updated.

Indeed it's not just fragmentation, but it's also seen trouble in a variety of patent law suits filed against individual phone manufactures - especially from Apple - in respect of Android functionality and hardware.

Given the large growth in a short time and the wide spectrum of handsets the platform finds itself on, it'll be interesting to see if the figures and trend we see here remain sustainable.