Canalys: Android powers one-third of all phones shipped in Q4

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Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system powered 34 percent of all mobile phones shipped worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2012, analyst firm Canalys reports.

Manufacturers shipped 438.1 million mobile phones during the final three months of 2012, remaining flat year-over-year; smartphone shipments increased to 216.5 million, up 37 percent over a year ago. Android devices accounted for 69 percent of fourth-quarter smartphone shipments, down from 74 percent in the third quarter as Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS jumped from 15 percent share to 22 percent on the strength of its new iPhone 5. BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone remain unchanged sequentially at 4 percent and 2 percent respectively.

Samsung Electronics led all other smartphone manufacturers during the fourth quarter, shipping 62.9 million units to claim a 29 percent market share. Apple follows at 47.8 million, or a 22.1 percent market share, and Huawei trails a distant third at 11.5 million, or 5.3 percent.

Source: Canalys estimates

"When we look at the whole of 2012, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) remained the number three smartphone vendor, shipping 35 million units, but Apple in second place shipped 101 million more handsets. First-placed Samsung shipped 74 million more than Apple--the gaps are colossal," said Canalys Principal Analyst Pete Cunningham. "But there is still a big opportunity as smartphone penetration increases around the world. Vendors left in the wake of the top vendors must at the very least improve their portfolios, time-to-market and marketing, as well as communicate their differentiators. Microsoft, BlackBerry and other new OS entrants, such as Mozilla, must make the OS switch as simple as possible and drive and localize their respective app and content ecosystems."

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