By Seth Weintraub
August 2, 2010

The latest in a series of ‘Android passing iPhone’ stats comes from Nielsen and Canalys this morning.

The news should hardly be a surprise to readers of this blog, but today two different reports show that Android is destroying the Smartphone competition in the US, the world’s largest smartphone market.  And it isn’t just iPhone this time.  For the first time, Android is out in front of Blackberry.  Androids prospects in China, the second biggest Smartphone market are also looking bright.

Canalys says that

… the collective growth of Android device shipments across a range of handset vendors’ portfolios that is most remarkable. With key products from HTC, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and LG, among others, shipments of smart phones running the Google-backed Android operating system grew an impressive 886% in Q2 2010…

Android devices collectively represented a 34% share of the US market in the quarter, and with growth of 851% Android became the largest smart phone platform in the country.

Nielsen (via GigaOm) shows the incredible growth over the first part of the year for the Android platform as it crosses iPhone into Blackberry territory.  If you extrapolate those lines out another month or two, you’ll get numbers very similar to Canalys’, above.

Can anything stop Android?  Will Blackberry 6?…

The news comes on the eve of Blackberry’s OS 6 announcement (which I’ll be covering for Fortune tomorrow at noon).  It is certainly too early to tell, but it would seem unlikely that Blackberry is going to be able to release anything that can stand up to Android.  To make matters worse, both Motorola and Samsung are prepping Android-powered Blackberry form factor devices.

The news also comes in the midst of a very successful iPhone 4 launch in which Apple (AAPL) sold 3 million phones in just over three weeks.

Canalys had some very good things to say about Android in China as well:

‘The story in the Asia Pacific region is similarly optimistic around Android,’ noted Senior Analyst, TY Lau. ‘Android devices are gaining good traction in markets such as mainland China and South Korea, with growing numbers of consumers wanting more sophisticated smart phones.’ China was the world’s second largest smart phone market in Q2 2010 for the sixth consecutive quarter, with shipments of 6.9 million units representing 11% of the worldwide total. Android devices combined reached almost 475,000 units in Q2 2010 from no presence in the country a year ago. It is also important to note that China Mobile is committed to developing its own platform, OMS, based on Android, and an additional 174,000 smart phones shipped in the quarter running OMS. ‘Given Google’s substantial involvement in the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), that its relationship with the Chinese authorities appears to have improved recently, and that its operating licence has been renewed, will help reduce concerns that tensions could have an impact on the potential for the OHA-based Android and OMS platforms in the country, particularly among vendors that have committed resources to producing Android devices for the Chinese market,’ added Lau. ‘Nokia’s Symbian devices continue to dominate the market, but other vendors are clearly making good headway with Android in China. Motorola and Samsung, as well as local vendors, such as Dopod, Lenovo and Huawei, are achieving promising volumes on the platform, and Android devices held a 7% share in China this quarter.’ Despite a close relationship with its strategic partner Dopod, HTC, the world’s leading Android device vendor, announced last week that it is entering the Chinese market with its own-branded smart phones. With a population of 1.3 billion, China represents a market with enormous growth potential and Canalys expects Android to be among the platforms that will drive growth in the coming quarters and years.

One more thing: Here is a great analysis by Google employee Tim Bray on the the scope of the Smartphone Game (via Daring Fireball).

The Numbers Are Really Big.   Insane, I mean. The billion-plus phones sold per year. The number of active subscriptions, which is greater than half of the human population. The number of new Android devices that check in with Google every day. The line-ups outside Apple stores for every new iOS device. The hundreds of thousands of apps. The ridiculous number of new ones that flow into Android Market every day. Everywhere I look, I see something astounding.

This is the big league; bigger today than the computer industry ever was, and growing fast. This is as fierce a concentration of R&D heat and manufacturing virtuosity and distribution wizardry and marketing mojo as humanity has ever seen.

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