Google's Android Gains Get Even Sweeter

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Google's high-flying Android OS is whizzing by the smartphone competition, and with 77 percent of Android-based smartphones now apparently running the most up-to-date versions of the OS, Google's victory appears to be even sweeter than expected.

According to Google itself, more than three quarters of Android smartphones now run either version 2.1 of Android, dubbed Eclair, or version 2.2, dubbed Froyo, meaning Google doesn't have to claim victory on the back of outdated mobile OS versions. And with the next version of Android right around the corner -- 2.3 or 3.0 depending on which speculation you trust, but code-named Gingerbread regardless -- the mobile OS' next round of uptake might be greater still.

Earlier this week came numbers from both The NPD Group and Canalys Research suggesting Android's growth has been not only steady, but dominant. In particular, NPD, which released numbers Monday, state that Android grew 11 percent in market share from the second quarter to the third, and that 44 percent of all smartphones purchased in the third quarter are running some version of Android. Both metrics were enough to best rivals Apple and Research In Motion, whose respective OSes were steady (Apple iOS up 1 percent) and declining (BlackBerry lost 6 percent).

Google's latest Android Developers data suggests the latest versions of Android have grown steadily, as well. Based on samples collected during a two-week period ending Nov. 1, Google says 40.8 percent of Android devices accessing the Android Market are running Eclair (version 2.1), and more than a third, 36.2 percent, of devices are running Froyo (version 2.2), meaning that about 77 percent of all Android devices accessing the Android Market run a version of Android higher than 2.

Not surprising, given that the crop of Android smartphones with the most up to date bells and whistles has continued to grow, but it's more data Google can point to to back up Android growth claims.


NEXT: Gingerbread Cometh

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