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Android to remain dominant following iPhone 5 launch

Google's Android operating system will continue to dominate the smartphone market, growing its lead by 10 per cent in the second half of the year despite the upcoming launch of the new iPhone, according to a new report from Digitimes Research, the analyst arm of daily trade paper Digitimes.

Android already leads the market, accounting for approximately 60 per cent of all smartphone shipments in the first half of 2012. But even with the forthcoming launch of the next-generation iPhone, Android market share is expected to grow to 70 per cent of the global market in the second half of the year, Digitimes Research senior analyst Luke Lin estimated.

Contributing to its growth, several major Android handset vendors like Samsung, Huawei, and ZTE are starting to increase shipments, while second-tier and regional vendors are "aggressively" launching new entry-level Android handsets in China, Lin said.

Android will, however, likely see a "rather weak" year-over-year shipment growth rate in 2012 due to of its strong shipments of 224 million units in 2011. Meanwhile, Nokia and Microsoft's aggressive promotion of Lumia Windows Phones may be paying off. Windows Phone shipments are expected to more than double year over year to an estimated 21 million units overall in 2012.

Shipments of Apple's iPhone are expected to surpass 125 million units in 2012 compared to 93 million units in 2011. Lin estimated that the iPhone will see year-over-year growth of less than 50 per cent, lower than it's been in the past two years.

However, with new iPhone hysteria is in full swing, several analysts have predicted that it could be the biggest debut Apple has ever seen.