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Android guzzles 81% slice of the market share pie

Google's Android platform had a milestone third quarter, topping 80 per cent of global smartphone shipments for the first time, according to IDC.

The analyst firm also said Microsoft's Windows Phone had an "amazing" quarter with 156 per cent year-over-year growth.

"Android and Windows Phone continued to make significant strides in the third quarter. Despite their differences in market share, they both have one important factor behind their success: price," Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team, said in a statement. "Both platforms have a selection of devices available at prices low enough to be affordable to the mass market, and it is the mass market that is driving the entire market forward."

Android reached 81 per cent of the smartphone market thanks to its "broad and deep list of vendors," IDC said. Still, Samsung led the charge with 39.9 per cent of Android shipments, while other Android vendors "still struggle to find meaningful market share."

Apple's iOS landed in second place with 12.9 per cent of mobile operating system share. That's down from 14.4 per cent during the same time period last year, but IDC attributed that to "soft demand in the weeks leading up to the launch of iOS 7 smartphones."

"If the 9 million units sold during the last week of September is any indication of future adoption, iOS stands to reap another record quarter in terms of volumes, market share, and year-over-year growth," IDC concluded.

Windows Phone landed at 3.6 per cent mobile OS market share, up from 2 per cent last year. It shipped 9.5 million devices during the third quarter, driven largely by Nokia.

"By itself, Nokia accounted for 93.2 percent of all the Windows Phone-powered smartphones shipped during the quarter, marking a new milestone in the company's short history on the Microsoft platform," IDC said. "Participation from other vendors, meanwhile, still seemed a mixed bag with more vendors participating from a year ago, but volumes still far behind Nokia's own."

BlackBerry continued its downward spiral, landing at 1.7 per cent share for the quarter, down from 4.5 per cent last year.

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