Android has come a long way in the four years since it launched. In face, IDC reports that the operating system shipped with three quarters of the smartphones sold in the last quarter. IDC reports that Android shipped 136 million units this past quarter, accounting for 75 percent of the 181.1 million smartphones shipped in 3Q12. This number represents year-over-year growth of 91.5 percent. According to IDC, it's nearly double the overall market growth rate of 46.4 percent.
"Android has been one of the primary growth engines of the smartphone market since it was launched in 2008," said Ramon Llamas, research manager, Mobile Phones at IDC. "In every year since then, Android has effectively outpaced the market and taken market share from the competition. In addition, the combination of smartphone vendors, mobile operators, and end-users who have embraced Android has driven shipment volumes higher. Even today, more vendors are introducing their first Android-powered smartphones to market."
Apple placed second for smartphone shipments. It shipped 26.9 million units, accounting for 14.9 percent of smartphone shipments. In the same quarter last year, Apple shipped 17.1 million phones, or 13.8 percent of overall smartphone shipments. This represents growth of 57.3 percent year-over-year. Both Blackberry and Symbian (third and fourth place, respectively) experienced negative year-over-year growth. The former 7.7 million units (4.3 percent of shipments) down from 11.8 million (9.5 percent) in the year ago quarter. Nokia's Symbian was on 4.1 million (2.3 percent), down from 18.1 million (14.6 percent). Microsoft, on the other hand, is doing alright. The company experienced year-over-year growth of 140 percent. For Q3 2011, the company shipped 1.5 million units, or 1.2 percent of smartphone shipments. This year, for the same quarter, the company shipped 2 percent, or 3.6 million units. These numbers obviously don't account for Windows Phone 8, which just launched earlier this week. IDC says it includes both Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile.