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Android extends smartphone dominance, as iPhone share drops again

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Galaxy S4
The Samsung Galaxy S4 has helped Android extend its advantage

Google's Android operating system has increased its dominance over the smartphone chasing pack, with handsets baring the software racking up nearly 80 per cent of all shipments around the world, in the three months leading up to the end of June

New sales data from research firm IDC showed Android accounting for an astonishing 79.3 percent of the market, boosted by handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One and countless affordable mobile devices around the globe.

That's up a full ten percent over 2012, with a 73 per cent increase in sales from 108m in Q2 last year, to 187.4 this year.

Google's gains once again come at the expense of its great rival Apple, with the iPhone's market share dropping to 13.2 per cent, compared with 16.6 per cent following Q2 2012.

Apple did sell 20 per cent more phones in the quarter compared with the previous year, with 31.2 shipping out, a record for Apple for the three months spanning April-June.

However, it's not all doom and gloom for Cupertino - not by a long shot. With iOS 7 and a tweaked iPhone 5S arriving later in the year, perhaps joined by an iPhone 5C to boost its standing in emerging markets, Apple is well-placed to fight back against Android later this year.

"The iOS decline in the second quarter aligns with the cyclicality of iPhone," says Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team. "Without a new product launch since the debut of the iPhone 5 nearly a year ago, Apple’s market share was vulnerable to product launches from the competition. But with a new iPhone and revamped iOS coming out later this year, Apple is well-positioned to re-capture market share."

Interestingly, Windows Phone also gained a little market share on Apple, during the period, up to 3.7 per cent compared with 3.1 per cent a year ago.

Inspired by Nokia's recent successes with its Lumia range, sales of handsets rocking Windows Phone surged by 7.6 per cent in the last twelve months, with 8.7m being sold in the second quarter of the year.

"Windows Phone posted the largest year-over-year increase among the top five smartphone platforms, and in the process reinforced its position as the number 3 smartphone operating system," IDC explained in a press release on Wednesday.

"Driving this result was Nokia, which released two new smartphones and grew its presence at multiple mobile operators. But beyond Nokia, Windows Phone remained a secondary option for other vendors, many of which have concentrated on Android. By comparison, Nokia accounted for 81.6% of all Windows Phone smartphone shipments during 2Q13."

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