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Apple, Android help smartphone sales double over last year, report says

November 10, 2010 | 12:00 pm

Phone-pile

Watch out dumb phones, the smartphones are piling on.

The global sale of smartphones during the third quarter nearly doubled over the same period last year, to 80 million, said research firm Gartner Inc. in a report Wednesday.

Smartphones comprised about 19% of the 417 million mobile phones sold in the quarter, a jump of 6 percentage points since last year.

At the same time, the standings shifted among smartphone makers, with phones powered by Google Inc.'s Android operating system -- now the main smartphone competitor to Apple's iPhone -- jumping to 26% of all phones sold during the quarter, up from 3% last year.  Android runs on nearly 100 phones from most major manufacturers, including Samsung, HTC and Sony.

Apple's iPhone came in second place, with 16.7% of the quarterly market share, down slightly from 17.1% last year.  BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Inc. fell behind Apple Inc. in North America, with a 14.8% share, down from 20.7% last year.

The leading operating system is still Symbian, however -- that's the softare that runs on phones made by Finnish phone-maker Nokia, still the world's largest phone manufacturer.  The company sold 117 million mobile phones (smart and dumb) in the quarter, nearly 46 million more than Samsung, the second-place mobile manufacturer.  Still, Nokia's quarterly market share for sales of all mobile phones dropped to 27% from 38% last year, signalling an erosion of the company's longtime dominance.

-- David Sarno

Photo: Pile o' iPhones. Credit: blakespot / Flickr

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