The success of Android continues to grow, and according to third quarter data in 2011, its rise soared. New figures published by Gartner found more than half of all smartphone sales are running the Android OS platform.
Gartner reported global sales of mobile devices equated to 440.5 million units in the third quarter of 2011, which is an increase of 5.6 percent from the third quarter of 2010.
The organization said, "Non-smartphone devices performed well, driven by demand in emerging markets for low-cost devices from white-box manufacturers, and for dual-subscriber identity module (SIM) devices."
Gartner also said, "Smartphone sales to end users reached 115 million units in the third quarter of 2011 [globally], up 42 percent from the third quarter of 2010."
Of those devices Android seems to currently be the clear market leader (60,490.4 units during 3Q 2011).
Google's OS has jumped to its current 52 percent market share, which is up from 25.3 percent of Android sales a year ago. This growth has come at the expense of competitors, all other platforms have declined in this market over the course of the last year.
Android is effectively "outstripping the growth of the overall smartphone market," according to PaidContent.org.
Bloomberg Business Week reported, “Android benefited from more mass-market offerings, a weaker competitive environment, and the lack of exciting new products on alternative operating systems,” Roberta Cozza, an analyst in Gartner’s European unit based in Egham, England, said in the report."
“The entry-level Android smartphones are getting better and better,” Cozza said. “This lower end is really what will be driving more growth next year.”
Microsoft's Symbian saw a significant tumble in its command of the market, but remains in the number two place in terms of actual sales, however its market share saw a distinctive drop. While Apple's iOS grew in actual units sold, their market share decreased. Last year the technology giant owned 16.6 percent for 3Q, but this year dropped slightly to 15 percent. Research in Motion (RIM) also experienced a dip, losing four percent of its market share, despite the fact it sold an additional 200,000 devices when contrasted with last year's 3Q.
Growth of smartphones in the U.S., Western Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Africa, has slowed, while China and Russia are seeing a significant boost, Gartner reported.
Experts say the slowdown can be partially due to economic uncertainty, but also could be attributed to the fact many consumers wait until the fourth quarter to purchase their devices during holiday promotions and/or as newer models become available towards the end of the year.
Last month Digital Journal reported Google TV updates coming that would integrate the Android interface.