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Android king

At least one in every two smartphones sold in the last quarter was an Android, latest figures from research firm Gartner have revealed.

Google’s mobile juggernaut accounted for 52.5 per cent of all worldwide smartphone sales in Q3, more than doubling its effort of 25.3 per cent in the same period last year. That’s more than 60 million handsets sold in just three months, compared to Nokia’s Symbian operated smartphones, which managed 19.5 million units for second place with a 16.9 per cent market share.

Apple’s iPhones on the other hand slipped slightly from 16.6 per cent in 2010 to 15 per cent this year for a total of 17 million handsets sold. However, despite the setback and the vast gulf in units shifted, Apple smartphones still raked in more profit than all other major rivals combined.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) saw its market share slip by four points, despite launching several handsets powered by its latest BlackBerry 7 operating system. Sales were doubtless down due in part to negative press following the crash of BlackBerry services for a week in several key territories.

The least pleased of the lot, though, will be Microsoft. Despite investing huge sums of cash in marketing, the software giant failed to see the new Mango iteration of its Windows Phone operating system spark consumer interest in the platform, with sales slashed by nearly half from last year for a measly 1.5 per cent share. It will be desperately hoping, to say the least, that the launch of the Nokia Lumia 800 this week will help gain some much-needed traction for the ailing OS reboot.

Roberta Cozza, chief research analyst at Gartner, said: "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.

"Apple's iOS market share suffered from delayed purchases as consumers waited for the new iPhone. Continued pressure is impacting RIM's performance, and its smartphone share reached its lowest point so far in the U.S. market, where it dropped to 10 per cent."

Source: Gartner via Engadget

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