Nearly 3 out of 4 smartphones in the world are now running on Google's… (Brett Gunlock / Bloomberg )
Nearly 3 out of 4 smartphones sold in the world in the third quarter run on Google's Android operating system, according to a report released Wednesday.
Android accounted for 72.4% of the market for smartphone operating systems sold in this year's third quarter, according to the report from Gartner Inc., up from 52.5% in the period a year earlier. A big chunk of that gain was attributed to Samsung, which sold 55 million smartphones. The bulk of Samsung's smartphones run on Android.
[For the record, 10:20 a.m. Nov. 16: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the Gartner report said nearly three out of four smartphones in the world are now Android-based. The Gartner report said 72.4% of smartphones sold during the third quarter were Android devices.]
Meanwhile, Apple, whose devices run on iOS operating system, sold more than 23.5 million phones during the same period, up from 17.3 million a year ago. Apple's operating system market share slipped from 15% in 2011 down to 13.9%.
Research and analysis firm Gartner Inc. says that could be because users around the world may have held off on buying a new phone as they waited for the iPhone 5 to arrive in their countries. The research firm says it expects the Cupertino company to have a strong fourth quarter as it usually does and regain market share.
Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system was similarly affected as many users held off on buying smartphones running Windows Phone 7, instead opting to wait for new Windows Phone 8 devices. That led to a decline in sales compared with the second quarter.
But with the rollout of Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system this month, Microsoft could regain some of the lost market share in the current, fourth quarter.
In total, smartphone sales grew nearly 47% in the third quarter compared with a year ago, and now account for nearly 40% of all mobile devices.
But Gartner predicts that mobile phone sales will have a weaker than normal showing this holiday season.
"Consumers are either cautious with their spending or finding new gadgets like tablets as more attractive presents," the firm says in its report.
Meanwhile, total mobile sales, meaning smartphones as well as non-smartphones, declined for the second quarter in a row, falling 3.1% over the year, as non-smartphone sales slipped 21%.
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