Last quarter we reported on some pretty stellar growth numbers for Android in the global smartphone marketplace. Back then, Google's OS had a 9.6 percent slice of the pie, but today that's ballooned to a robust 17.2 percent, meaning that in terms of end-user sales over the last three months, Android has nearly matched RIM's BlackBerry sales. That's quite the feat when you consider that a year ago the latter was shifting ten times more units than the former. This extraordinary growth rate has narrowed down Symbian's lead at the top, in spite of Nokia's favorite OS actually shipping on more phones this year, while the big loser of the quarter has to be Windows Mobile, which contracted both in terms of market share and actual shipments.
Overall, smartphone sales were up by 50 percent year-on-year, according to both Gartner and IDC, while Gartner adds that mobile devices as a whole grew at a tamer 13.3 percent pace. In terms of phone manufacturers' global share, Nokia and Samsung have held on to their top positions, LG, Sony Ericsson and Motorola have experienced some uncomfortable shrinkage, and HTC, RIM and Apple have capitalized to expand their portions. Looking over to IDC's smartphone share data shows, again, that all smartphone makers are growing remarkably well, but it does highlight HTC (129 percent) and Samsung (173 percent) as really improving their presence in the sector. The reason? Android, Android, Android.