Android Passes Symbian As Top Smartphone Platform

According to research firm Canalys, 32.9% of the smartphones shipped from manufacturers during the fourth quarter of 2010 ran Android, making it the number one smartphone platform world wide. The news is significant because it means that for the first time after a decade, Nokia, who is credited for bringing to market the first smartphone, is not the leader. Nokia smartphones accounted for 30.6% of the devices shipped during the quarter.

Google and Nokia have sizable leads worldwide over it’s competitors. Apple is in third place with 16% of the smartphones shipped. In terms of smartphones shipped in the U.S., RIM reclaimed first place from Apple, with Canalys citing that it benefited from the first full quarter of shipments of the Blackberry Torch. U.S. numbers will likely change soon after Verizon starts selling the iPhone. For the year nearly 300 million smartphones were shipped, which is an 80% increase from 2009.

Bear in mind that Canalys’ data represents shipments from manufacturing plants and is not actual sales to consumers. Still, the data pretty much meets the expectation that Android would become the top smartphone platform given the number of manufacturers making Android handsets and the number of carriers selling them.

The news must be particularly troubling to Nokia, with news sites like Reuters emphasizing how Google has moved past them. Nokia will be presenting at Mobile World Congress on February 13, so perhaps they will provide insights on how they plan to wrestle market share back from Google.