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Android crushes puny rivals with 74% of smart phone market

Nearly three in every four smart phones sold in the first three months of the year were running Android, according to analyst Gartner.

Nearly three in every four smart phones sold in the first three months of the year were running Android, according to analyst firm Gartner.

The phone industry expert's stats make grim reading for any company making mobiles with any other operating system, particularly BlackBerry and Nokia. Even without new Android flagships such as the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4 on sale, the first quarter was utterly dominated by Google's platform.

It's a staggering jump for Android, up to 74.4 per cent of the market from 56.9 per cent a year ago. It's taken that share from everyone: iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Bada and Symbian are all losers in terms of market share.

More mobiles running Apple's iOS and Microsoft's Windows Phone were actually sold than in the first part of 2012 -- Windows Phone more than doubled -- but Android sold so many more it dwarfs them.

The figures illustrate how smart phones are quickly becoming the norm. Out of 426 million blowers shipped in the quarter, 210 million were classified as smart by Gartner, up from 147 million a year ago -- even as total phone sales have barely risen at all.

Samsung is the chief beneficiary of Android's unstoppable rise, with nearly 65 million smart phones flogged, far ahead of Apple's 38 million, and miles beyond any other Android maker.

"There are two clear leaders in the OS market and Android’s dominance in the OS market is unshakable," said Gartner's Anshul Gupta. "With new OSs coming to market such as Tizen, Firefox and Jolla we expect some market share to be eroded but not enough to question Android's volume leadership."

Can anything stop the inexorable march of Android? Let me know what you think in the comments, or on Facebook.