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Android Market Share Rises To Over 7 In 10 Smartphones In Q3

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Android market share rises as Samsung increases lead over Apple

Android consolidated its position as the world’s most popular mobile operating system during the third quarter of 2012 as smartphone sales rose by 47 percent year-on-year, according to research from Gartner.

Devices running Android accounted for 72.4 percent of all smartphones shipped, ahead of iOS in second place, with BlackBerry in third, ahead of Bada, Symbian and Windows Phone.

Smartphone sales of 169.2 million units accounted for 39.6 percent of the worldwide mobile phone market, which shrank 3.1 percent from last year. However, Gartner remains optimistic and said there were positive signs for the industry heading into the fourth quarter.

Android market share increases

“After two consecutive quarters of decline in mobile phone sales, demand has improved in both mature and emerging markets as sales increased sequentially,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. “In China, sales of mobile phones grew driven by sales of smartphones, while demand of feature phones remained weak. In mature markets, we finally saw replacement sales pick up with the launch of new devices in the quarter.”

On a hardware basis, Samsung sold 55 million smartphones in the third quarter, giving it a 32.5 percent share of the global market, ahead of Apple’s iPhone in second. RIM rose to third, displacing Nokia which slumped to seventh, while HTC took fourth place. But Gartner predicted that they will struggle to hold onto these positions.

The firm also said the traditionally strong fourth quarter will provide a less significant boost than normal, as consumers become increasingly cautious with their spending or find products such as tablets more attractive gifts.

Samsung also topped the mobile phone market, selling 98 million units in the third quarter, while Apple once again took second spot.

Sales of Nokia mobile phones fell by 21 percent, but the struggling Finnish manufacturer still sold 82.3 million units, largely driven by its Asha feature phone range. Gartner said this figure will most likely improve with the launch of Windows Phone 8, although it may well be until 2013 until any improvement is seen.

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