More than half of the smartphones sold worldwide in the third quarter of the year were powered by Google's Android software, technology research firm Gartner said Tuesday.
A total of 60.5 million Android-powered smartphones were sold in the third quarter, giving the operating system a 52.5-percent market share, up from 25.3 percent in the same quarter a year ago, Gartner said.
Nokia sold 19.5 million smartphones using its Symbian operating system in the third quarter but its share of the smartphone market fall to 16.9 percent from 36.3 percent a year ago.
Apple sold 17.3 million iPhones powered by iOS software during the quarter. Apple's market share slipped to 15.0 percent from 16.6 percent a year ago.
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion saw the largest decline with its market share falling to 11.0 percent from 15.4 percent on sales of 12.7 million units.
"Android benefited from more mass-market offerings, a weaker competitive environment and the lack of exciting new products on alternative operating systems," Gartner principal analyst Roberta Cozza said.
"Apple's iOS market share suffered from delayed purchases as consumers waited for the new iPhone," Cozza said. "Continued pressure is impacting RIM's performance, and its smartphone share reached its lowest point so far in the US market, where it dropped to 10 percent."
Gartner said worldwide sales of mobile devices totalled 440.5 million units in the third quarter, up 5.6 percent over a year ago.
Smartphone sales rose 42 percent in the quarter over a year ago to 115.2 million units and made up 26 percent of all mobile sales, up from 25 percent the previous quarter.
"Strong smartphone growth in China and Russia helped increase overall volumes in the quarter," Cozza said.
"But demand for smartphones stalled in advanced markets such as Western Europe and the US as many users waited for new flagship devices featuring new versions of the key operating systems," she said.
Nokia was the overall leader in overall mobile sales in the third quarter although its market share slipped to 23.9 percent from 28.2 percent a year ago.
South Korea's Samsung was the second-largest handset vendor with a 17.8 percent market share, up from 17.2 percent a year ago.
Another South Korean firm, LG Electronics, was next with a 4.8 percent market share, down from 6.6 percent a year ago.
Apple's market share rose to 3.9 percent from 3.2 percent a year ago.
China's ZTE saw its market share rise to 3.2 percent from 1.9 percent while the market share of Blackberry maker Research In Motion dipped to 2.9 percent from 3.0 percent.
Taiwan's HTC saw its market share rise to 2.7 percent from 1.6 percent, while US vendor Motorola saw its market share rise to 2.6 percent to 2.1 percent.
China's Huawei nearly doubled its market share -- from 1.3 percent to 2.4 percent -- while Sony Ericsson saw its market share fall to 1.9 percent from 2.5 percent.
Gartner also said that Samsung became the top smartphone manufacturer worldwide in the quarter, topping Nokia, on sales of 24 million units.
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