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As emerging markets grow, Android extends smartphone lead

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Android-powered smartphones extended their lead in the global marketplace in the third quarter, helped by growth in emerging markets, a survey showed on Wednesday.

[WASHINGTON] Android-powered smartphones extended their lead in the global marketplace in the third quarter, helped by growth in emerging markets, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The Google-powered operating system was used in 84.7 per cent of smartphones sold worldwide in the quarter, up from 83.3 per cent a year earlier, the Gartner survey showed.

Apple and its iOS operating system meanwhile lifted its market share to 13.1 per cent from 12.5 per cent a year ago.

The two dominant systems left little for Windows Phone, which saw its market share slip to 1.7 per cent from three percent, and Blackberry, down to 0.3 per cent from 0.8 per cent.

Smartphone sales grew 15.5 per cent in the July-September period to 353 million units, with Android accounting for more than 298 million and Apple 46 million, Gartner noted.

But most of the growth was in emerging markets, where sales were up 18.4 percent compared with 8.2 per cent for "mature markets," according to the survey.

"The availability of affordable smartphones in emerging markets saw consumers upgrade their 'feature phones' to smartphones more quickly because of the small price gap," said Anshul Gupta, Gartner research director.

Samsung kept its spot as the number one vendor with a 23.7 per cent market share to 13.1 per cent for number two Apple.

China's Huawei leapt into third place with a share of 7.7 per cent, on the back of a 71 per cent year-on-year sales jump, Gartner found.

Rival Chinese handset markets Lenovo and Xiaomi were in a virtual tie for fourth place with a 4.9 per cent market share, Gartner said.

AFP