Android to Dominate Smartphone Market in 2012, Study Says

LOS ANGELES — More than 630 million smartphones will ship worldwide in 2012, and Android will own 49.2 percent of the market.

That is the conclusion from technology research firm Gartner, which reported second-place competitor iOS will have a 18.9 percent share in 2012, followed by Research In Motion's BlackBerry operating system, which will take third place with 12.6 percent share

Gartner said that in 2011 the number of smartphone shipments worldwide will shoot up to nearly 468 million units. It said that the growth means Android will have taken a 38.5 percent market share by the end of the year, followed by Apple's iOS at 19.4 percent, and Symbian at 19.2 percent.

Gartner offered one surprise forecast. It says that in 2015 Microsoft's Windows Phone platform will take the second spot in the smartphone space with 19.5 percent market share. It will follow Android's 48.8 percent market ownership.

It is likely that starting next year, Nokia will use Windows 7 as the operating system on its smartphones, Gartner says.