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Low-cost smartphones boost Android

A surge in low-cost smartphone sales, notably in emerging markets, helped the Google Android platform extend its dominance in the second quarter, a survey showed on Thursday (Aug 14).

WASHINGTON: A surge in low-cost smartphone sales, notably in emerging markets, helped the Google Android platform extend its dominance in the second quarter, a survey showed on Thursday (Aug 14).

The report by market tracker IDC said Android phone sales were up 33 per cent over the past year to 255 million units, and accounted for 84.7 per cent of all global smartphone sales in the March-June period. The overall market grew 25 per cent to 301 million units, IDC said, with Apple, Microsoft Windows and BlackBerry failing to keep pace.

"With many of its (manufacturing) partners focusing on the sub-US$200 segments, Android has been reaping huge gains within emerging markets," says Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC.

"During the second quarter, 58.6 per cent of all Android smartphone shipments worldwide cost less than US$200 (S$249.23) off contract, making them very attractive compared to other devices."

Sales of the Apple iPhone rose to 35.2 million units in the quarter, but with growth slower than Android, Apple's market share fell to 11.7 per cent from 13 per cent last year in the same period. Windows Phone sales meanwhile slipped more than nine percent from a year ago to 7.4 million units, while its market share dropped to 2.5 per cent.

BlackBerry's woes deepened despite modest gains from the first quarter of 2014. On a year-to-year basis, sales fell 78 per cent and its market share dropped to 0.5 per cent. The figures were largely in line with a similar survey last month from Strategy Analytics.

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