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Android smashes mobile OS shipment record

01 Nov 2012
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Google's Android platform has reached record worldwide sales numbers, according to analysts.

Research firm IDC said that the Google mobile OS is the first to surpass 100 million shipments in a single quarter.

Some 136 million new Android handsets – 75 per cent of the market – shipped in Q3, up a staggering 91.5 per cent over the same period last year, a growth rate roughly double that of the smartphone market as a whole.

IDC credits the soaring sales in part to Google's ability to build and maintain a large ecosystem for the platform.

"Google has a thriving, multi-faceted product portfolio. Many of its competitors, with weaker tie-ins to the mobile OS, do not," explained IDC senior research analyst Kevin Restivo.

"This factor and others have led to loss of share for competitors with few exceptions."

Second in the quarter was Apple's iOS. The company shipped some 26.9 million units, giving iOS a 14.9 per cent share of the market. Analysts noted that the figures were held back by an iPhone 5 release that occurred late in the quarter.

Research in Motion (RIM) continued its downward trajectory as BlackBerry shipments slipped from 11.8 million to 7.7 million units. The 34.7 per cent drop left RIM with a 4.3 per cent market share.

The Symbian platform was fourth in the market with a 2.3 per cent share, followed by Windows Phone with a two per cent.

The coming months could see a shift in the smartphone space as new handsets hit the market. Along with the continued strong sales of Apple's iPhone 5, a range of new handsets powered by Windows Phone 8 is set to reach shelves in November.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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