San Francisco: Google's Android mobile operating system powered three out of every four smartphones sold in the third quarter, according to industry research firm IDC.
Shipments of Android-based smartphones made by Samsung, HTC and other vendors nearly doubled in the third quarter, reaching 136 million units, IDC said in its research report.
The strong sales boosted Android's share of the worldwide smartphone market to 75 percent, from 57.5 percent in the year-ago period.
Apple's share of the market increased to 14.9 percent during the third quarter, from 13.8 percent a year earlier. Apple's iPhone uses the company's iOS mobile software.
While Android pulled further ahead of Apple's iOS, its gains have come mainly at the expense of rival operating systems Blackberry and Symbian, with shipments of phones running those systems declining significantly.
Google offers its Android operating system free to phone manufacturers, and primarily makes money from online advertising when consumers access its services on the devices.
Research in Motion's Blackberry operating system had 7.7 percent share in the third quarter, compared with 9.5 percent a year earlier.
Symbian, which had 14.6 percent share a year ago, had a 4.1 percent share in the third quarter. Smartphone maker Nokia still offers the Symbian software in some of its phones, but the company has largely shifted to Microsoft Corp's software.
Mobile versions of Microsoft's software accounted for 3.6 percent of the smartphone market in the third quarter. But IDC said that the recent launch of the new Microsoft Phone 8 operating system could improve its position in the fast-growing market.
Here are IDC's top operating systems based on worldwide smartphone unit sales and market share in the third quarter of 2012.
-Android (Google) -- 136 million units, 75 percent share (57.5 percent a year earlier)
-iOS (Apple's iPhone) -- 26.9 million units, 14.9 percent share (13.8 percent a year earlier)
-BlackBerry (Research in Motion) -- 7.7 million units, 4.3 percent share (9.5 percent a year earlier)
-Symbian (mostly used by Nokia) -- 4.1 million units, 2.3 percent share (14.6 percent a year earlier)
-Windows (Microsoft) -- 3.6 million units, 2 percent share (1.2 percent a year earlier)
-Linux -- 2.8 million units, 1.5 percent share (3.3 percent a year earlier) India, U.S. trump Italy as top gold jewellery exporters
With Agency Inputs