Android leads as smartphone sales jump worldwide

Android continues its domination of the smartphone market on the international level.

Mobile devices continue to sell in the hundreds of millions by the quarter worldwide, but smartphone sales are growing the fastest.

According to a new report from Gartner, approximately 428.7 million units of mobile devices were sold to end users worldwide at the end of Q2 2011, which is a 16.5 percent increase from a year ago.

But smartphone sales to end users were up 74 percent accounted for 25 percent of overall sales in the second quarter of 2011, a 17 percent increase from the same time in 2010.

Google is the current champion with nearly half of the smartphone market share running on Android-based devices. Although Symbian is holding on to the second spot, it has lost nearly half of its market share from 2010.

Apple's iOS was the only other platform that saw an increase in sales since 2010, although it hasn't climbed that much -- mainly because it only has two handsets currently on sale (the iPhone 4 and 3GS), and it hasn't produced a new model in over a year. RIM, Microsoft and "others" all offered significant losses in the market share.

As for overall mobile phone vendors (thus both smartphones and feature phones), Nokia continues to lead with 22.8 percent of the market share, but that is down from 30.3 percent last year. Samsung saw a slight dip but held on for the silver medal spot, while LG also dropped but managed to get third.

Apple, ZTE, HTC and Huawei were the only vendors on the list that saw increases in their mobile phone market shares. RIM and Motorola stayed roughly the same as last year, while Sony Ericsson dropped by almost half from three percent to 1.7 percent.

In two recent surveys from the IDC and Strategy Analytics, Apple was found to be the top smartphone vendor worldwide. However, the difference is that in those surveys, the market share was broken up by manufacturers (i.e. Samsung, HTC, etc.). In this study, those Android handset makers are joined together to snag a larger piece of the pie.