Android smartphone shipments boom: industry tracker

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 AP Photo/Kin Cheung

SAN FRANCISCO–Android software powered three out of four smartphones shipped worldwide in the recently ended third quarter as the Google-backed mobile platform dominated the market, industry tracker IDC said Thursday.

Android smartphones shipments surged to 136 million, topping those in the same three-month period last year by slightly more than 90 percent, according to an IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report.

The Android share of the market climbed to 75 percent from 57.5 percent in a year-over-year comparison. A total of 181.1 million smartphones were shipped in the third quarter of this year, according to IDC.

“Android has been one of the primary growth engines of the smartphone market since it was launched in 2008,” said IDC mobile phones research manager Ramon Llamas.

“In every year since then, Android has effectively outpaced the market and taken market share from the competition.”

Shipments of iPhones rose nearly 14 percent to 26.9 million in the quarter giving Apple a slightly improved 14.9 percent share of the market as the overall market grew 46.4 percent, according to IDC.

Smartphones powered by Microsoft Windows software also gained ground in the quarter, with their share of the market growing to two percent.

Microsoft this week unveiled innovative new Windows Phone 8 handsets along with a growing library of applications, music, services and more.

BlackBerry and Symbian smartphones meanwhile saw their shares of the market slide.

“The share decline of smartphone operating systems not named iOS since Android’s introduction isn’t a coincidence,” said IDC senior research analyst Kevin Restivo.

“The smartphone operating system isn’t an isolated product, it’s a crucial part of a larger technology ecosystem,” he continued. “Google has a thriving, multi-faceted product portfolio.”

The availability of desirable “apps” and digital content such as music, films, and games is considered crucial to the success of smartphones.

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