Three out of every four smartphones shipped during the third quarter of this year were Android devices, with its growth almost double that of the market.
According to new research from IDC, 136.0 million Android handsets were shipped during the three months to 30 September. This was up 91.5% on 2011, compared to the wider market growth of 46.4%. In total, 181.1 million smartphones were shipped during the quarter.
Having smashed through the 100 million unit market during the second quarter, Android broke records again, exceeding the total number of smartphones shipped during 2007, the year that Android was announced. Bolstered by the success of the Galaxy S III, among other handsets, Samsung was the best performing Android manufacturer.
Ramon Llamas, research manager for mobile phones at IDC, said: 'Android has been one of the primary growth engines of the smartphone market since it was launched in 2008. In every year since then, Android has effectively outpaced the market and taken market share from the competition. In addition, the combination of smartphone vendors, mobile operators, and end-users who have embraced Android has driven shipment volumes higher.'
Apple's iOS was in second place, with shipments up thanks to the late quarter launch of the iPhone 5. In total, 26.9 million devices were shipped, up 57.3% on last year and giving Apple a 14.9% share.
BlackBerry's market share continued to fall, slipping to 4.3% as shipments declined 34.7% to 7.7 million. The manufacturer is looking to the launch of its BB10 OS in the first quarter of 2013 to turn its fortunes around.
Windows Phone had the largest proportional growth, up 140% to 3.6 million devices shipped. However, it continued to lag behind Symbian (4.1 million units) and IDC said the two-year-old OS had yet to make a 'significant dent' in the market. It added: 'That could change in 4Q12, when multiple Windows Phone 8 smartphones will reach the market.'
Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst, said: 'The share decline of smartphone operating systems not named iOS since Android's introduction isn't a coincidence. The smartphone operating ecosystem isn't an isolated product, it's a crucial part of a larger technology ecosystem. 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 head to loss of share for competitors with few exceptions.'
Editor: Graeme Neill