Google's Android operating system was the big winner in a big time for worldwide phone shipments, market researcher Strategy Analytics reported Wednesday.
Android captured 88 percent of all smartphone shipped in the third quarter of 2016, a period that also marks the fastest growth rate in a year. "Android's gain came at the expense of every major rival platform," Strategy Analytics' Linda Sui said in a press release.
"Apple iOS lost ground to Android and dipped to 12 percent [market]share," primarily because of "lackluster" sales in China and Africa, she said.
And don't bother looking for BlackBerry and Microsoft Windows phones in the mix. They "all but disappeared" in the period between July 1 and the end of September.
While Android's leading position looks "unassailable," it does face challenges in a market filled with phones made by hundreds manufacturers, few of which turn a profit. That's not helped by Google's new Pixel phone, which competes against the companies that made it popular in the first place, Strategy Analytics said.
About 375 million smartphones shipped in the third quarter of 2016, up 6 percent from 354.2 million units in the same period last year. Shipments of Android-based phones rose 10.3 percent, while Apple's iPhones fell 5.2 percent.