Recent figures released by analyst firm IDC reveal that Android shipments in Q3 of 2012 reached a total of 136 million units, accounting for 75% of the 181.1 million shipments during the quarter. Put simply, Android could be found on three out of four smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2012. While this figure relates to shipped units, not sold handsets, it does indicate the effect Android is having on the worldwide market. 2012 has been a very successful year for Android, which is celebrating its fourth anniversary since launching in 2008.
A large factor in Android's recent growth is the growing popularity of Samsung devices. Samsung now holds between 30-35% of the smartphone market share, and recently shipped more than 56 million units thanks to the popularity of the Samsung Galaxy S III. For comparison, Apple sold just under 27 million iPhones during the same period.
Of course Android is not just available on Samsung devices and the combined shipments of Android smartphones reaches a record level of 136 million shipped devices in 2012's third quarter. Below is a table showing the top five smartphone operating systems for quarter three of 2012 in terms of shipment volumes and market share.
Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, November 1, 2012
While the figures suggest the future is Android, the latest version of Apple's iPhone, the iPhone 5, shipped late in the quarter so these figures haven't been able to take in the full effect of this much anticipated release. There is also still hope for Windows' dwindling share of the mobile market as Windows Phone 8 is still to be launched following their high profile partnering with Nokia.
Find out more on smartphone shipments and market shares at the IDC.