Android captures 52% of global smartphone market

Updated: 2011-11-16 06:30


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SAN FRANCISCO - Smartphones running Google's Android operating system accounted for 52.5 percent of the global smartphone market in the third quarter of 2011, market research firm Gartner said in its latest quarterly report on Tuesday.

According to the report, the global market share of Android handsets more than doubled from the third quarter of 2010.

Apple's shipment in the quarter had an annual increase of 21 percent, but was down nearly three million units from the second quarter of 2011 because of the company's iPhone 4S announcement in October.

Gartner believes Apple will bounce back in the fourth quarter, and markets like Brazil, Mexico, Russia and China are becoming more important to the company.

"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.

"Apple's iOS market share suffered from delayed purchases as consumers waited for the new iPhone," she said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the market share of Blackberry, manufactured by RIM, had reached its lowest point so far in the US market.

According to the report, worldwide sales of mobile devices totaled 440.5 million units in the third quarter of 2011, up 5.6 percent from the same period last year.

Accounting for 26 percent of all mobile phone sales, smartphone sales reached 115 million units in the third quarter of 2011, up 42 percent from the third quarter of 2010, but the growth had slowed down compared to the previous quarter.

Gartner analysts said strong smartphone growth in China and Russia helped increase overall volumes in the quarter as demand for smartphones stalled in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa as well as the advanced markets such as Western Europe and the United States.

Samsung became the world's largest smartphone manufacturer due to the strong performance of its Galaxy smartphones. For worldwide mobile devices sales including smartphones and feature phones, Nokia continued to be the leader, accounting for 23.9 percent of global sales.