It's no secret that Google's open source Android platform is the popular kid on the block, but even Google may not have envisioned a time when its mobile OS would account for 75 percent of all smartphones. Yet here we are, with Android installed on three out every four smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2012, according to data by International Data Corporation (IDC) .
IDC says worldwide smartphone shipments reached 181.1 million units in Q3, and of those, Android was installed on 136 million. That represents a staggering 91.5 percent year-over-year growth, and a near doubling of its market share.
"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's iOS platform came in a distant second with 26.9 million iPhone shipments in Q3, for less than a 15 percent share of the market. The iPhone 5 will inevitably boost those figures next quarter, but it still won't get iOS close to Android's obscene numbers.
In terms of all Android devices (including tablets), Android 2.3.x (Gingerbread) is still the most widely distributed version, accounting for 54.2 percent of all Android devices, according to Google , which gets its numbers based on the number of Android devices that have accessed Google Play within a 14-day period. Android 4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich accounts for 25.8 percent, and Jelly Bean is already up to 2.7 percent.