Google’s Android operating system now powers 81 percent of the world’s smartphones thanks to strong demand from Europe and Asia, according to a new Strategy Analytics report.
Linda Sui, a senior analyst with the market research firm, said increased demand for Android phones helped drive smartphone sales in the third quarter of 2013.
Smartphone shipments totaled 241 million worldwide in the third quarter of 2012, up 45 percent year-over-year from 173 million, Strategy Analytics said Thursday.
Android’s jump in sales occurred even as Blackberry continued to lose market share and as Apple’s presence in the low-end category remained limited.
“Android will need to take further shipments from Apple if it wants to keep growing in the future, but this is unlikely in the near-term as the new iPhone 5s model is proving popular and it will help Apple to regain volumes worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2013,” said Scott Bicheno, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics.
The Microsoft Windows Phone emerged as the fastest growing major OS, increasing its market share twofold for the period.
The software company shipped 10 million smartphones during the quarter, up 178 percent from the previous year.
“Microsoft’s growth is almost entirely due to Nokia and its steadily improving Lumia portfolio across Europe, Asia and the United States,” said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics.
“However, Microsoft is clearly still at a low level of share worldwide and it is struggling to gain serious traction in several major markets like Japan, South Korea and Africa.”