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Android is on 3 out of 4 smart phones, research says

Google's Android OS is on three quarters of all smart phones sold in the last three months.

Three quarters of all smart phones sold in the last three months use Google's Android software, says a study by research firm IDC, Reuters reports.

It shows the gap is widening between Android and Apple's iOS.

Sales of smart phones running Android nearly doubled in the third quarter of the year, the research says, hitting 136 million. That means Android's market share is up from 57.5 per cent at the same time last year, to a whopping 75 per cent.

But that doesn't mean Apple is struggling. On the contrary, iOS was up to 14.9 per cent, from 13.8 per cent at the same time last year.

How then can they both be growing? The answer lies in the decline of handsets running BlackBerry's software, and Nokia's Symbian. BlackBerry has just 7.7 per cent, while Symbian is down from 14.6 per cent to just 4.1. Windows Phone 8 is too new to do much damage so far, and RIM's BB10 won't launch until next year.

IDC puts Android's growth down to its integration into Google's vast range of services. "Google has a thriving, multi-faceted product portfolio," IDC analyst Kevin Restivo writes in the report. "Many of its competitors, with weaker tie-ins to the mobile OS, do not."

Android has certainly been helped by the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S3, which just reached 30 million sales. And Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 isn't doing too badly either, notching up a healthy 3 million sales, to retailers anyway. Google's Nexus 4 recently received our coveted Editors' Choice award for its great specs and low price, proving that a decent Android phone doesn't need to break the bank.

Apple's iPhone 5, meanwhile, was received well, but the Maps software was woefully inadequate. That didn't stop it selling like the proverbial hot cakes on its opening weekend though. The iPhone is also selling faster than Android handsets here in the UK.

Does Android deserve to be so popular? Especially considering the problems it's had with its updates? What's your OS of choice? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.