Market research firm Gartner says that 72 percent of the smartphones sold in the third quarter run Google's Android operating system. Samsung increased its lead as the leading handset maker, while Nokia slipped from third to seventh.
Mashable's Stan Schroeder reported, "Android‘s overall smartphone market share has jumped to 72.4% in Q3 2012, up from 52.5% in the same period last year, Gartner’s latest data shows. Most of that growth comes at the expense of RIM and Symbian, both of which lost a huge chunk of their market share. Apple’s iOS fell from 15% in Q3 2011 to 13.9% in Q3 2012, and Microsoft and Samsung’s Bada managed to increase their market share, from 1.5% to 2.4% and from 2.2% to 3%, respectively."
In terms of manufacturers, "It’s still a two-horse race between Samsung and Apple, with the two accounting for 46.5% of all smartphone sales," noted TechCrunch's Ingrid Lunden. "But that is actually a much-diminished position compared to last quarter, when together they accounted for 83%. In any case, Samsung is currently appearing to be the stronger horse, with both Apple’s marketshare and unit sales at less than half of Samsung’s."
PCMag's Stephanie Mlot observed, "Nokia took a tumble in the third quarter, falling from No. 3 to No. 7 in worldwide smartphone sales as Samsung and Apple continued to dominate the space, according to new stats from Gartner. 'Nokia had a particularly bad quarter with smartphone sales' of just 7.2 million, Gartner said today. The company, however, did not have any major releases in the second quarter and is betting big on its Windows Phone 8-based Lumia lineup, which hit the U.S. this month. 'The arrival of the new Lumia devices on Windows 8 should help to halt the decline in share in the fourth quarter of 2012, although it won't be until 2013 to see a significant improvement in Nokia's position,' Gartner said.
Overall mobile phone sales fell during the quarter. Gartner's press release stated, "Worldwide sales of mobile phones to end users reached almost 428 million units in the third quarter of 2012, a 3.1 percent decline from the third quarter of 2011, according to Gartner, Inc. Smartphone sales accounted for 39.6 percent of total mobile phone sales, as smartphone sales increased 46.9 percent from the third quarter of 2011."