Google beats Microsoft in smartphones, catching Apple


Google’s Android mobile phone system is building momentum, beating Microsoft in the last quarter and challenging Apple as the number of new models with software and compatible applications grow.
Google’s Android was the fourth most popular operating system
on smartphones sold in the first quarter, research firm Gartner said on Wednesday, putting the company in a good position as handsets look set to surpass computers for browsing the Web.
Android, which was in 10 percent of smartphones sold in the quarter, lags Nokia’s Symbian, Research in Motion and Apple.
Gartner said Android was due to beat Apple soon as there were more handset makers using its operating system, and Android phones were already outselling the iPhone in North America.

Gartner’s data is considered an industry standard.
More and more start-ups are developing applications for Google’s Android software, boosting interest among consumers and posing increasing risk to Apple, venture capitalists told the Reuters Global Technology Summit in San Francisco.
While Apple’s app store offers more than 200,000 games, tools and other software to jazz up the iPhone, against just 38,000 for Android, the openness of Google’s mobile operating system is helping it gain popularity with developers.
Microsoft, which has been making mobile software for around 10 years, hopes to claw back market share it has lost to rivals with new Windows Phone 7 models, due to reach markets in time for holiday-sales at the end of the year.
Handset makers such as HTC, Samsung and Motorola all make Windows phones but are increasingly turning to Android, which is not only free but attracting a fast-growing developer community.