Google’s Android operating system captured a record-high 87.5 percent of the global smartphone market in the third quarter, a research firm said.

The survey released Wednesday by Strategy Analytics found Android’s share increase from 84.1 percent in the same period a year ago, while Apple’s iOS saw its share slip to 12.1 percent from 13.6 percent.

“Android’s leadership of the global smartphone market looks unassailable at the moment,”

said Strategy Analytics’

“Its low-cost services and user-friendly software remain attractive to hardware makers, operators and consumers worldwide.”

He added that the dominance of Android poses challenges for Google, which offers the system for free to manufacturers.

“The Android platform is getting overcrowded with hundreds of manufacturers, few Android device vendors make profits, and Google’s new Pixel range is attacking its own hardware partners that made Android popular in the first place,”

he said.

The report said global smartphone shipments grew six percent from a year ago to 375.4 million in the quarter, the fastest growth rate for a year.

According to the survey, the market share for other operating systems including Windows and BlackBerry fell to a minuscule 0.3 percent from 2.3 percent last year.

“BlackBerry and Microsoft Windows Phone have all but disappeared due to strategic shifts, while (Samsung’s) Tizen and other emerging platforms softened as a result of limited product portfolios and modest developer support,”

said Neil Mawston, executive director of the research firm.


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