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Android outsells BlackBerry and iPhone in US, says analyst

Android's market share has shot up since the start of the year, catapulting them to the most popular smart phone OS in the US over the last six months, according to Catalys

Android's US market share has shot up since the start of the year, with a prodigious 886 per cent rise in sales catapulting it to the most popular smart phone OS in America, according to one analyst.

Google's smart-phone platform surpassed both Apple and BlackBerry-manufacturer RIM, the previous market leader, for the quarter. Canalys says shipment of handsets running Android grew by nearly ten times in the second quarter of 2010 due largely to its successful partnerships with phone manufacturers such as HTC and Samsung.

The analyst puts Android's market share at 34 per cent, ahead of BlackBerry. Neilsen, however, puts Android's market share over the first six months of the year at 27 per cent, ahead of iPhone but still behind BlackBerry. In terms of the total number of phones running the different systems, Android remains relatively niche, but it's clear it's gaining fast.

How will Apple and RIM respond? After the recent launch of the iPhone 4, it'll be some time before Apple makes any direct response. RIM, on the other hand, demonstrated the BlackBerry Torch 9800 and its new OS 6.0 at an event this afternoon.

Google employee Tim Bray is extremely excited about the news. "The Numbers Are Really Big," he wrote in an analysis piece on the phone market. "Insane, I mean. The billion-plus phones sold per year. The number of active subscriptions, which is greater than half of the human population. The number of new Android devices that check in with Google every day. The line-ups outside Apple stores for every new iOS device. The hundreds of thousands of apps. The ridiculous number of new ones that flow into Android Market every day.

"Everywhere I look, I see something astounding. This is the big league; bigger today than the computer industry ever was, and growing fast. This is as fierce a concentration of R&D heat and manufacturing virtuosity and distribution wizardry and marketing mojo as humanity has ever seen."

Bray went on to say, "So, um, who's winning? The answer is, nobody knows." His employer may beg to differ.