Android grabs 85% of smartphone market | Bangkok Post: tech

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Android grabs 85% of smartphone market

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WASHINGTON - Smartphones powered by the Android operating system captured 85 percent of the worldwide market in the second quarter, threatening to marginalize rival platforms, a new survey shows. 

An Android mobile phone is displayed at a store on August 29, 2012 in Glendale, California

Strategy Analytics said overall smartphone shipments were up 27 percent from a year ago to 295 million, with most of the growth in devices using Android, the free mobile system from Google.

Apple's iPhone managed to increase sales to 35 million in the quarter, the survey showed, but Apple's global market share fell to 11.9 percent from 13.4 percent a year ago, said the report released Wednesday.

"Android is on the verge of turning smartphone platforms into a one-horse race," said Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston.

"Its low-cost services and user-friendly software remain wildly attractive to hardware makers, operators and consumers worldwide. Rival OS vendors are going to have to do something revolutionary to overturn Android's huge lead in smartphone shipments."

Mawston said the only significant threats to Android are the large-screen iPhones expected to come from Apple later this year and the ultra-low cost Firefox phones.

Global smartphone growth in the past quarter is at its lowest level for five years, according to the survey, but there are wide regional differences.

"Africa and Asia are booming, while North America and Europe are maturing," said analyst Linda Sui.

According to Strategy Analytics, Microsoft saw Windows Phone sales decline to eight million units in the quarter from 8.9 million a year ago. That dropped its market share to 2.7 percent from 3.8 percent.

BlackBerry's woes are deepening, according to the survey, which found unit sales tumbling 66 percent to 1.9 million, and market share falling to 0.6 percent.

A report earlier this week from research firm IDC showed smartphone sales at a similar level of 295 million, with the largest gains coming from Chinese makers Lenovo and Huawei.

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