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Samsung moves 10 million Galaxy S phones in seven months

by Phil Hornshaw

It’s good to be Samsung, and Google (GOOG) has to be excited as well: the phone-maker has sold 10 million of its Galaxy S smartphones worldwide, and they all run Google’s Android operating system.

Samsung is reporting that 4 million Galaxy S phones were sold in North America, with 2.5 million sold in Europe and another 2 million moving in South Korea. It also shipped a million units in its first month of being available, according to a Mashable.com story.

The success of the Galaxy S has to be troubling to the guys over in the iPhone department at Apple (AAPL), because according to the latest Nielsen Company smartphone report with data from November 2010, Android is hot on the heels of Apple’s still-dominant iOS operating system.

Apple’s OS is still tops on all smartphones, holding 28.6 percent of the market, adding a little less than a percentage point from its 27.9 percent share in October. Meanwhile, Android is being used on 25.8 percent of smartphones -- a big jump from 22.7 percent in October and 15 percent in June. RIM’s (RIMM) BlackBerry OS dropped to 26.1 percent, continuing its decline: it was at 27.5 percent in October and 33.9 percent in June.

Meanwhile, people who are buying new smartphones are buying Androids, the report states. Within the last six months, 40.8 percent of customers buying new smartphones bought Android ones -- which makes sense, given how many phones carry Android -- while 26.9 grabbed iPhones with iOS and 19.2 bought BlackBerrys.

As GigaOM points out in its story, the numbers have to be considered in context. Google isn’t really making many phones -- just the Nexus S -- and so is pulling its revenue from advertising, which is why so many phones carry Android. Apple’s money comes mostly from iPhone hardware, with a big chunk also being carried with app sales and advertising in those apps. As for RIM, well... RIM just needs people to be paying attention to BlackBerry again. That’s why it’s working on entries into the tab market and has acquired some new gunslinging programmers to help out with its user interface.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the iOS/Android race in the coming months. If all these rumors turn out to be true and Apple releases its Verizon-compatible (VZ) iPhone, things might take a pretty drastic turn. If iOS is king of the market right now, on only one carrier, imagine how things will change when it adds just one more. Even better -- what will Google do to fight back?