Handsets with the Google Android operating system are proving highly popular with mobile phone buyers around the world, new figures have revealed.
According to a report by Canalys, the platform accounted for 25 per cent of the global smartphone market between July and September last year.
Figures also showed that shipments of Android handsets during the first three quarters of 2010 was over 1,000 per cent up on the amount recorded a year earlier.
As a result, Canalys is optimistic that the operating system will continue to grow in popularity during 2011 and outpace its rivals over the coming year.
This, it said, is despite the fact that some consumers believe Android is a fragmented platform, because there are many related mobile phones with their own hardware and software specifications.
Chris Jones, principal analyst at Canalys, commented: "The growth of Android has been phenomenal - we believe that growth will continue as the pace of Android OS upgrades slows."
He noted that while the issue of fragmentation is pertinent to all operating system platforms, it is especially apparent with Android.
Mr Jones said this is because its growth has been "characterised" by a fast pace of upgrades.
Indeed, Canalys stated that many different versions of the platform have been rolled out in the years since the original was released in September 2008.
The findings come after research by comScore noted that the Google Android platform enjoyed "strong growth" in the US during the first half of 2010.
Figures also showed that during the three months to the end of November last year, it had the second largest share of the country's smartphone platform market.
More than 61 million consumers in the US owned a smartphone by this period, comScore said, which is ten per cent more than in the previous quarter.