More than 204 million Android phones shipped around the world during the third quarter, says Strategy Analytics.
Google's mobile OS won a global market share of 81.3 percent last quarter, up from 75 percent in the prior year's quarter, research firm Strategy Analytics said on Thursday. Shipments of Android phones hit 204.4 million, a hefty gain over the 129.6 million shipped a year ago.
In second place, Apple saw its slice of the smartphone market drop to 13.4 percent from 15.6 percent despite a gain in shipments to 33.8 million. But Apple should regain some of its lost market share this quarter due to demand for the iPhone 5S.
"Apple also lost some ground to Android because of its limited presence at the lower end of the smartphone market," Strategy Analytics senior analyst Scott Bicheno said in a statement. "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."
Windows Phone doubled its share of the market to 4 percent from 2 percent as shipments swelled to 10.2 million from just 3.7 million a year ago, a rise of 178 percent. Microsoft's mobile OS is now the fastest growing smartphone platform, Strategy Analytics said. But it still needs a big boost in certain countries.
"Microsoft's growth is almost entirely due to Nokia and its steadily improving Lumia portfolio across Europe, Asia, and the United States," Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston said in a statement. "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."
Continuing its downward spiral, BlackBerry watched its smartphone market share plummet to just 1 percent from 4.3 percent as shipments fell to 2.5 million. Strategy Analytics blamed the decline on a weak lineup of BB10 devices.