According to research released by NPD Group on Monday, Google Android saw an 11 percent third quarter market share boost over the previous quarter. NPD Group said that 44 percent of all smartphones purchased in the third quarter had Google Android as their OS.
Meanwhile, Apple and its iOS stayed relatively steady, increasing just one percent between the second and third quarter to 23 percent.
Android's and Apple's top contender, RIM and its BlackBerry OS, dropped to third place with third quarter sales hitting just 22 percent of the market, a 6 percentage point dip from the second quarter, NPD Group noted.
NPD Group said that Google Android is riding the wave of several successful smartphone launches in previous months. And while the Apple iPhone 4 saw the highest number of single handsets sold to consumers, it wasn't enough to beat out mighty Android.
But Android's battle with Apple didn't take center stage. Instead, NPD Group said, Android's outshining of RIM helped push it to the top.
NEXT: Canalys Weighs In
"Much of Android's quarterly share growth came at the expense of RIM, rather than Apple," Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, said in a statement. "The HTC EVO 4G, Motorola Droid X, and other new high-end Android devices have been gaining momentum at carriers that traditionally have been strong RIM distributors, and the recent introduction of the BlackBerry Torch has done little to stem the tide."
Along with NPD Group, UK research firm Canalys also released a report showing that Google Android has tightened its stranglehold on the mobile OS market in the third quarter.
According to Canalys' figures, the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), which uses Android in 9.1 million phones, had 44 percent of smartphone shipments in the third quarter, an increase of 10 percent from the previous quarter. Apple, meanwhile, had 26 percent of the smartphone market with 5.5 million devices sold that use iOS. RIM also placed third in Canalys' findings, owning just over 24 percent of the market.