Google Android Rings in Fourth Birthday with Record-Setting Shipments

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Google had a lot to celebrate on the four-year anniversary of its Android interface, as new figures from analyst firm IDC show that shipments of the operating system accounted for 75% of all smartphone shipped in the third quarter. 

IDC Smartphone OS Marketshare Q3 2012Reaching 136 million units of the 181.1 million total worldwide shipments during the period, the Android platform was found on three out of every four smartphones shipped during 3Q12, according to IDC.

While shipped figures don’t necessarily equal units sold, the number is proof that Android is gaining traction in the smartphone race, an achievement that is in part to Samsung, which has influenced the number of handsets running the system, especially with the success of its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S III. Though Samsung’s market share saw a slight dip as numerous smaller vendors increased production, the South Korean company is said to account for around 31% of the smartphone market share currently, according to IDC.

Following Android’s record level of shipments, which was up from 100 million units last quarter, Apple shipped 26.9 million iPhones during 3Q12, claiming the only other double-digit spot on the list with 14.9% of the market share. Although with the iPhone 5 only available for the last few weeks of the quarter, it will be interesting to see if Apple can gain some shares after having its latest and greatest on the market for more time.

And while Android experienced record growth, BlackBerry’s shares fell to just over 4%, as Symbian reached a market share of just 2.3%, posting its largest year-over-year decline of – 77.3%. As IDC senior analyst Kevin Restivo points out, it’s obvious to see where Google is gaining its customers from.

“The share decline of smartphone operating systems not named iOS since Android’s introduction isn’t a coincidence. The smartphone operating system isn’t an isolate product, it’s a crucial part of a larger technology ecosystem,” said Restivo. “Google has a thriving, multi-faceted product portfolio. Many of its competitors, with weaker tie-ins to the mobile OS, do not. This factor and others have led to loss of share for competitors with few exceptions.”

Meanwhile, Windows Phone shipped just 3.6 million units worldwide, yet with the recent launch of Windows Phone 8, there is plenty of room for Microsoft to move up in the mobile operating system rankings.

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