Android is the undisputed champ of the smartphone wars— for now.
According to Gartner, Android took a 72 per cent share of smartphone shipments in the third quarter, up 8 percentage points from a quarter prior. iOS stumbled five percentage points, and now accounts for 14 per cent of all smartphone shipments.
Microsoft was down as well. The company will need to show improvement in the fourth quarter after the release of Windows Phone 8, otherwise the future of its mobile effort will be thrown into question. (We discussed Microsoft’s chances of becoming the third major mobile platform in a recent report.)
Android’s strength in the third quarter reflects two things. First, the release of the Samsung Galaxy S3, arguably the flagship Android smartphone, which reportedly blew out sales. Second, the iPhone 5 wasn’t released until the very tail-end of the quarter, holding back iOS numbers. Expect Apple and iOS to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter.
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