|Android devices now represent 72.4 percent of the cellphone market, according to new third-quarter research data by Gartner. The figure represents a major boost over Q3 2011, when Android had a 52.5 percent share. Some of that ground appears to have come from the platform's closest rival, iOS, which has slipped from 15 to 13.9 percent. Also down are Research in Motion's BlackBerry phones, shifting from 11 to 5.3 percent, and Symbian, shrinking from 16.9 percent to just 2.6.
Making modest gains are Bada -- up from 2.2 percent to 3 -- and Microsoft, which has risen from 1.5 percent to 2.4. Gartner suggests that iOS should regain ground in the fourth quarter, thanks to the launch of the iPhone 5. RIM may also be in a somewhat better position, as it is thought to have been "destocking" in advance of new phones. The share of Microsoft's Windows Phone devices allegedly weakened year-on-year as the arrival of Windows Phone 8 cut demand for WP7-based hardware.
In terms of vendors, Samsung is currently the world leader in cellphone sales, followed by Nokia, Apple, ZTE, and LG. Although overall phone sales have slipped 3 percent, the narrower smartphone market has grown 47 percent year-over-year to 169.2 million units. The primary beneficiary has been Samsung, which increased its lead over Apple in Q3 by selling 55 million smartphones versus Apple's 23.6 million. Samsung controls 32.5 percent of the smartphone market.