More than half of the smartphones sold worldwide in the third quarter of the year were powered by Google's Android software, technology research firm Gartner said.
A total of 60.5 million Android-powered smartphones were sold in the third quarter, giving the operating system a 52.5-per cent market share, up from 25.3 per cent in the same quarter a year ago, Gartner said.
Nokia sold 19.5 million smartphones using its Symbian operating system in the third quarter but its share of the smartphone market fall to 16.9 per cent from 36.3 per cent a year ago.
Apple sold 17.3 million iPhones powered by iOS software during the quarter. Apple's market share slipped to 15.0 per cent from 16.6 per cent a year ago.
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion saw the largest decline with its market share falling to 11.0 per cent from 15.4 per cent on sales of 12.7 million units.
"Android benefited from more mass-market offerings, a weaker competitive environment and the lack of exciting new products on alternative operating systems," Gartner principal analyst Roberta Cozza said.
"Apple's iOS market share suffered from delayed purchases as consumers waited for the new iPhone," Cozza said. "Continued pressure is impacting RIM's performance, and its smartphone share reached its lowest point so far in the US market, where it dropped to 10 per cent."
Gartner said worldwide sales of mobile devices totalled 440.5 million units in the third quarter, up 5.6 per cent over a year ago.
Smartphone sales rose 42 per cent in the quarter over a year ago to 115.2 million units and made up 26 per cent of all mobile sales, up from 25 per cent the previous quarter.
"Strong smartphone growth in China and Russia helped increase overall volumes in the quarter," Cozza said.
"But demand for smartphones stalled in advanced markets such as Western Europe and the US as many users waited for new flagship devices featuring new versions of the key operating systems," she said.
Nokia was the overall leader in overall mobile sales in the third quarter although its market share slipped to 23.9 per cent from 28.2 per cent a year ago.
South Korea's Samsung was the second-largest handset vendor with a 17.8 per cent market share, up from 17.2 per cent a year ago.
Another South Korean firm, LG Electronics, was next with a 4.8 per cent market share, down from 6.6 per cent a year ago.
Apple's market share rose to 3.9 per cent from 3.2 per cent a year ago.
China's ZTE saw its market share rise to 3.2 per cent from 1.9 per cent while the market share of Blackberry maker Research In Motion dipped to 2.9 per cent from 3.0 per cent.
Taiwan's HTC saw its market share rise to 2.7 per cent from 1.6 per cent, while US vendor Motorola saw its market share rise to 2.6 per cent to 2.1 per cent.
China's Huawei nearly doubled its market share - from 1.3 per cent to 2.4 per cent - while Sony Ericsson saw its market share fall to 1.9 per cent from 2.5 per cent.
Gartner also said that Samsung became the top smartphone manufacturer worldwide in the quarter, topping Nokia, on sales of 24 million units.