Google Android launched 4 years ago back in 2008 and it's grown rapidly every year since and has now become the dominant smartphone platform.
In the 3rd quarter of 2012 Android commanded a 75 per cent market share of global smartphones with the operating system shipping on 136 million smartphones. That is up from 57.5 % in the same period last year (71 million units), which is a growth of over 90 per cent.
Apple's iOS platform is the only other operating system to achieve a double-digit market share and also saw it's share increasing year-on-year. In the 3rd quarter of 2012 Apple's iOS platform had a 14.9 per cent market share shipping on 26.9 million iPhones, which is up from 13.8% the year before.
Apple can expect stronger performance in the 4th quarter of the year because the iPhone 5 will have been on the market for the whole of the period. In the 3rd quarter many people were holding off buying an iPhone until the launch of the iPhone 5 at the end of September.
The only other platform which saw it's share increase is Microsoft's Windows Phone platform which achieved a 3.6 per cent share of the smartphone market. This is a growth 140 per cent based on the same time last year. Microsoft's platform should get a boost in the 4th quarter thanks to the launch of Windows Phone 8.
The Symbian platform saw the biggest decrease in market share shipping on just 2.3 per cent of smartphones in the 3rd quarter of 2012, compared to 14.6% a year earlier. However, this is expected since the platform was replaced on Nokia's smartphones by the Windows Phone platform.
Blackberry will be worried by the latest results which showed that their market share dropped to just 4.3 per cent in Q3 of 2012, compared to 9.5 per cent a year earlier. They'll be hoping that the Blackberry 10 platform , which is due to launch early next year, can reverse their fortunes.
The next year is crucial for both Microsoft and Blackberry and if they fail to make any inroads we could end up with just two major smartphone platforms in the future. Both Android and iOS continue to grow and show no signs of slowing and 3G is very worried about the future of Blackberry in particular.
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