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Standing out from the crowd with an Android phone? You and 90 per cent of the market

Meanwhile, analysts say Blackberry and Windows Phone aren't even worth measuring

Woman in horse mask takes a selfie. Photo by Shutterstock

Android smartphones currently account for nine tenths of what analysts say is now strictly a two-brand market.

Strategy Analytics estimates that over the third quarter of 2016, Android handsets claimed precisely 87.5 per cent of all shipments, the highest market share ever for the Google-backed operating system.

Apple was second, with iOS staking a 12.1 per cent cut of the market. All other platforms combined to account for the remaining 0.3 per cent.

"Android's gain came at the expense of every major rival platform. Apple iOS lost ground to Android and dipped to 12 percent share worldwide in Q3 2016, due to a lackluster performance in China and Africa," said Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston.

"BlackBerry and Microsoft Windows Phone have all but disappeared due to strategic shifts, while Tizen and other emerging platforms softened as a result of limited product portfolios and modest developer support."

The huge market share was the result of Android being the only smartphone OS to see its shipments grow over Q3 2016, ballooning from 298 million to 328.6 million – a 10.3 per cent gain.

Apple, meanwhile, saw shipments of 45.5 million iPhones last quarter, down 5.5 per cent from 48 million last year. This, in turn, shrank the iOS market share from 13.6 to 12.1 per cent.

Also losing ground was the "other" category, which comprises Tizen, Windows Phone, and the doomed brand of Blackberry. The category has been reduced to the right side of the decimal point, as it fell from 2.3 per cent in 2015 to 0.3 per cent this year.

It's worth noting that the Strategy Analytics report tracked only the market share of the operating systems run by the 375 million smartphones shipped, not the companies making the hardware.

While iOS as a platform may only account for 12 per cent of the market, Apple's total control of that platform means it's still the second-largest smartphone vendor in the world, trailing only Samsung (which shipped 75 million handsets last quarter), while other Android vendors lag behind Cupertino. ®

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