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Apple's Market Share Falls as Android Rockets Past 50%

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There's no question that Apple knows how to make a buck.

Earlier this month, Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley reported that due to strong sales, Apple could potentially capture 60% of the entire handset industry's operating profits. Although it's a staggering number, Cupertino already claimed a profit share of 52% in the third quarter -- so what's 8% more?

However, despite the strong profits, the iPhone is still far behind Android in terms of global sales.

According to recent data courtesy of Gartner, Android's market share has rocketed past the 50% mark to hit 52.5% of worldwide smartphone sales. To put that into perspective, that's over double its share on year ago.

After Android, there's a huge drop to Nokia's Symbian, which suffered the sharpest fall since 2010's third quarter. Back then, Symbian stood at 36.3% of sales, but has since plummeted to less than half of its 2010 share to 16.9%. Soon, it's likely to drop below iOS, making it the third most popular worldwide platform.

In third, for the time being, is Apple's iOS with a 15% market share -- a drop of 1.6% from last year. While Android's spread across multiple carriers and manufacturers certainly influenced Apple's drop, another factor was consumers waiting patiently for the release of the iPhone 4S.

BlackBerry continues to struggle, shaving 4.4% from its market share to hit 11%. Samsung's Bada OS doubled its meager sales to earn a 2.2% share worldwide. And Microsoft is still failing to find a break into the game, falling from a 2.7% share to a minuscule 1.5%.

Let's hope that with 52.5% of global sales, Google finally starts tackling that fragmentation problem.

(See also: Sad Comparison of iPhone and Android's Update History and Google Engineer Calls Google+ a Complete Failure)

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