By Marcus Leach

Data published by Canalys has revealed that Google's Android has become the leading platform for smart phones.

The 2010 Q4 data, which is global country-level, shows that shipments of Android-based smart phones topped 32.9 million, with Nokia's Symbian platform marginally behind on 31.0 million worldwide.

However, Nokia remained the leading global smart phone vendor with a 28% market share.

The data also confirmed that the worldwide smart phone market is continuing to grow at a rate of knots, with year-on-year growth hitting 89% in the fourth quarter as shipments reached 101.2 million units.

Shipments for the entire year were marginally below 300 million, which represents an annual growth rate of 80% on 2009.

"2010 has been a fantastic year for the smart phone market. After a difficult 2009, the speed with which the market has recovered has required real commitment and innovation from vendors and they have risen to the challenge," said Canalys VP and Principal Analyst Chris Jones.

"But vendors cannot afford to be complacent. 2011 is set to be a highly competitive year with vendors looking to use new technology, such as dual-core processors, NFC and 3D displays, to differentiate their products and maintain value."

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