Gartner shows iOS lost smartphone share to Android in Q3 2011

Although Apple is selling iPhones like the proverbial hotcake, iOS lost market share in the worldwide smartphone market in the third quarter of 2011. What's remarkable is that sales of the iPhone actually grew during that time, according to sales information from Gartner.

As noted in a post on AppleInsider, Apple sold 17.3 million iPhones in that quarter for a market share slice of 15 percent. That makes the iPhone the third-largest smartphone platform in the world. But the market share was actually down year-to-year, with the 2010 figure at 16.6 percent.

The Android mobile operating system ate up that share, with 60.5 million smartphones sold in the third quarter of 2011 -- that's a whopping 52.5 percent of all smartphones sold in that period. A year ago, 20.5 million Android smartphones were sold for a 25.3 percent share of the market.

Nokia's Symbian OS still ranks in the second spot, but the 16.9 percent market share pales in comparison with the 36.3 percent figure for the year before. Other losers are RIM, with a market share dropping from 15.4 percent in 2010 to 11 percent in 2011 and Microsoft, which watched its 2.7 percent share melt to 1.5 percent in 2011.

Now that Apple has two "bargain" iPhone models in the market -- the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS -- as well as a technically advanced top-of-the-line model in the iPhone 4S, it should be interesting to see if the company is able to weather the onslaught of Android phones for the critical holiday quarter of 2011.