Android smartphone sales surpassed iOS shipments in the third quarter as Apple was overtaken by Google in the mobile operating system wars, according to analyst group Gartner.
Gartner figures revealed Android’s smartphone OS market share skyrocketed from 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2009 to 25.5 percent in the same period in 2010.
Apple’s iOS saw its market share fall from 17.1 per cent to 16.7 percent, though the Cupertino company shipped plenty of smartphones thanks to the iPhone 4 launch.
In Western Europe, iPhone sales doubled year-on-year and Gartner labelled Apple’s third quarter a “stellar performance” as it shifted 13.5 million units overall.
RIM did not have such a solid performance and went from second place to fourth in terms of market share. The BlackBerry manufacturer saw its global share of the segment drop to 14.8 percent.
Nokia remained ahead of the pack, although the Finnish firm continued to see its market share eaten into.
“Smartphone OS providers have entered a period of accelerated platform evolution, stimulated by more regular product releases, new platform entrants and new device types,” said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner.
“Any platform that fails to innovate quickly — either through a vibrant multi-player ecosystem or clear vision of a single controlling entity — will lose developers, manufacturers, potential partners and ultimately users.”
In the industry at large, smartphone sales increased 96 percent while the mobile phone market overall grew 35 percent.
“This is the third consecutive double-digit increase in sales year-on-year, indicating that consumer demand is healthy,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.
An IDC report recently showed similar results, albeit with slightly more modest smartphone growth.
According to IDC, smartphone sales were up 89.5 percent in the third quarter when compared to the same period in 2009.