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Android doubles its smartphone market share

Kathleen Hall

Google has doubled market share of smartphones running on its Android operating system since last year, according to research from Gartner.

In the third quarter of this year, 60,490 mobile phones running on Google’s Android operating systems were shipped, increasing Android’s market share to 52.5%, from 25.3% in the third quarter of last year.

In contrast, market share for Nokia’s Symbian operating system halved to 16.9%, while Apple’s iOS and Research in Motion also saw market share take a slight dip, said Gartner.

"Android benefited from more mass-market offerings, a weaker competitive environment and the lack of exciting new products on alternative operating systems such as Windows Phone 7 and RIM," said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Samsung, which primarily runs on Android, became the number one smartphone manufacturer worldwide, as sales to tripled year over year to 24 million. Apple shipped 17 million iPhones, an annual increase of 21% but down nearly three million units from the second quarter of 2011.

But despite seeing a 4.3% drop in market share, Nokia continued to be the worldwide leader in mobile device sales, accounting for 23.9% of global mobile sales.

Worldwide sales of mobile devices totalled 440.5 million units in the third quarter of 2011, up 5.6% from the same period last year, according to Gartner.

Customers bought 115 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2011, up 42% from the third quarter of 2010. But overall smartphone sales accounted for just 26% of all mobile phone sales, a 1% growth on the previous quarter.

Cozza said the stall in smartphone growth was due to customers holding off upgrades as they waited for promotions on other high-end models.

 


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