Thursday, November 17, 2011 : Independent third quarter stats show Android has 52.5 percent of the market
 
Google's Android mobile operating system continued its inexorable march up the global smartphone charts in the third quarter, reaching 52.5 percent, according to the independent research organisation Gartner.
 
The platform has more than doubled its share of the smartphone pie compared with the same period last year, taking market share from all of its rivals.
 
It bested Nokia's Symbian platform at 17 percent, down from 36 percent a year ago; Apple iOS, which dipped to 15 percent from 16.6 percent; and Research In Motion's 11 percent plot, which is down from the 15.4 percent it held in Q3 2010.  Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform and Nokia's ability to sell handsets using it, dropped from 2.7 percent to just 1.5 percent.
 
"Heavy marketing from both Nokia and Microsoft to push the new Lumia devices should bring more improvement in the fourth quarter of 2011," Gartner noted. "However, a true turnaround won't take place until the second half of 2012."
 
The Android platform helped lead the 42 percent year-over-year boost in smartphone sales to 115 million units in the third quarter, as smartphone sales made up 26 percent of all mobile phone sales, the researcher reports.
 
Samsung was the biggest beneficiary, tripling sales to reach 24 million end users en route to becoming the No. 1 smartphone manufacturer worldwide, beating even Nokia in core markets such as Western Europe and Asia, thanks to its new Galaxy handsets, which have sold more than 30 million units to date, including over 10 million of the new S II handsets, which feature faster processors and brighter displays packed into a thin form factor.
 
Gartner reports that Apple shipped 17 million iPhones, down nearly 3 million units from the second quarter of 2011 because the company didn't roll out its iPhone 4 until October 14, missing the bulk of Q3 sales.
 
"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," Gartner analyst Roberta Cozza wrote.
 
"Apple's iOS market share suffered from delayed purchases as consumers waited for the new iPhone."
 
Cozza said some consumers didn't upgrade their phones in the third quarter because they were waiting for promotions on premium smartphones ahead of the holiday shopping season. The iPhone 4 smashed sales records in its opening weekend.
 
Cozza said the iPhone 4S, 4 and 3GS will capture share from Android manufacturers in Q4 this holiday season. Those devices will be countered by Samsung's Galaxy S II and Galaxy Nexus smartphones, the first handset with the Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" build, as well as Motorola Mobility's ultra-thin Droid Razr and Droid Bionic models.
 
If its marketshare holds, mobiles using the Android OS will account for over $2.18 billion of total mobile gambling revenue and 5.75 percent of the overall interactive gambling market by 2013.