Google's Android Is World's Leading Smart Phone Platform

In the fourth quarter of last year, the Google OS-based smart phone shipments were helped by LG, Samsung, Acer and HTC, according to a Canalys report.

Google's Android has become the world's leading smart phone platform, according to a new report from tech research firm Canalys.

Shipments of Android-based smart phones have reached 32.9 million worldwide, while devices running Nokia's Symbian platform reached 31 million, according to the findings, based on the fourth quarter of 2010. Nokia did retain its position as the leading global smart phone vendor, with a 28% share.

In Q4 2010, Google OS-based smart phones shipments were boosted notably by LG, Samsung, Acer and HTC, the report said.

Change may be on the way, though. "The U.S. landscape will shift dramatically this coming year, as a result of the Verizon-Apple agreement," predicted Canalys analyst Tim Shepherd. "Verizon will move its focus away from the Droid range, but the overall market impact will mean less carrier-exclusive deals, while increasing the AT&T opportunity for Android vendors, such as HTC, Motorola and Samsung."

Android was the largest smart phone platform in the U.S. market in Q4 2010, with shipments of 12.1 million units – nearly three times those of RIM's BlackBerry devices. Windows Phone 7 devices appeared too late in the quarter to take full advantage of holiday season purchasing, the report explained.