Android’s introduction into the smartphone arena has completely changed the way the smartphone market was perceived.

Multiple phone manufacturers running android on various configurations and versions specially made for them. All seemed well and good till fragmentation reared up its ugly head. Ever since Apple’s Steve Jobs brought up the issue of android fragmentation, it has not stopped people from making assessments as to what it will take for Google’s android to succeed or even survive in the global smartphone market.

As Google revealed, Android is now a real global competitor to Apple with almost 350,000 android devices being activated everyday! Now that’s a huge number of devices. Google also announced that the android market  (Google’s android app store) downloads have reached 3 billion downloads! What is even more impressive is that the latest 1 billion downloads took only about two months to come! That is a phenomenal success story considering android mobile volumes have increased so much that many analysts believed that a slowdown in android’s growth was expected.

A report published by leading mobile ad company InMobi reveals some interesting facts about android’s rise. Android has shrugged off speculations of a slowdown and is zooming ahead, but it is not the only one profiting from this success. Smartphone manufacturers HTC and Samsung have reportedly gained market share over the past year owing to the success of their android based devices, and this year seems to have started off great for both of them. HTC is the big winner according to the report, gaining +2.8 share points in just 90 days. This growth outpaces Apple (+1.9 share pts)and Samsung (+1.6 share pts).

Although Nokia OS remains the top OS globally and the iPhone still the most popular device worldwide, android’s success cannot be ignored. With a growing market share and number of devices, it is fast becoming the platform of choice for developers to build ad-driven applications.
Another interesting revelation that comes from the report is that for the first time, android has beaten the iPhone in global OS share, a gain of almost 4.9% compared to the iPhone’s 1.9%.

Nokia is still the world’s biggest company, in terms of number of handsets as well as devices running its own Nokia OS, but its recent change in strategy is going to have a big impact on how this report will look next year. It’s tie-up with Microsoft for using windows phone 7 as its primary phone OS will see Nokia (finally) making an effort to cement itself in the smartphone market.

But until then it looks like android is here and its here to stay. What are your thoughts?