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Google's Android extends lead over Apple's IOS in mobile device market

As customers postpone upgrades while awaiting the Iphone 5
Tue Aug 14 2012, 14:03

GOOGLE'S DESSERT THEMED OPERATING SYSTEM (OS) Android has extended its lead in the mobile device market, IT research firm Gartner has reported, leaving Apple's IOS further behind as customers postpone upgrades while waiting for the Iphone 5.

According to Gartner's Market Share: Mobile Devices, Worldwide, 2Q12 report released today, Google's OS accounted for 64.1 per cent of global mobile devices sales in the second quarter, a 20 per cent increase over the same quarter last year.

Gartner said Android's proliferation was a result of record sales of Samsung's Galaxy smartphones, such as the Galaxy S3, with a reported 10 million units shipped in the two months after its release.

"In the second quarter of 2012, Samsung's mobile phone sales remained very strong, up 29.5 per cent from the second quarter of 2011 and managed to extend its lead over both Apple and Nokia quarter-on-quarter," Gartner's report said.

"The Galaxy S3 was the best-selling Android product in the quarter and could have been higher but for product shortages."

Apple's IOS accounted for 18.8 per cent of the market in the second quarter, a modest 0.6 per cent growth on the same quarter in 2011. Gartner said the Iphone 5 was responsible for the IOS' slouch in sales as customers await the launch of Apple's next big toy.

"In the second quarter of 2012, consumer demand for the Apple Iphone weakened as sales fell 12.6 per cent from the first quarter of 2012, but grew 47.4 per cent year-on-year," Gartner said.

"Depending on the exact launch date of the new Iphone, Apple might experience another weaker-than-usual quarter in the third quarter of 2012, while it will be ready to take advantage of the strong holiday sales in North America and Western Europe that have historically remained immune to economic pressure."

Despite the thriving smartphone market, where 42.7 per cent more devices were sold compared to a year ago, Gartner reported that the total mobile phone market declined 2.3 per cent from the second quarter of 2011.

This was attributable to "a challenging economic environment" as well as product launch cycles, Gartner said. The Iphone 5 release along with Chinese manufacturers "pushing 3G and preparing for major device launches" are expected to push overall sales upwards in the second half of the year.

Android and Apple device sales ensured Blackberry maker Research in Motion (RIM) was pushed even further down the mobile device vendor table, with its market share dwindling from 11.7 per cent to 5.2 per cent year-on-year.

Finnish phone firm Nokia also saw a decline in its mobile device sales, with its Symbian OS plunging from 22.1 per cent in the second quarter in 2011 to 5.9 per cent in the second quarter this year.

However, Microsoft's slow response to the market boom continued, with Windows Mobile growing from 1.6 per cent to 2.7 per cent market share, quarter to quarter. µ


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