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Android has helped smartphone market double, study shows

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(Read caption) Android fever: A tester unboxes the Droid Incredible, an Android-powered phone manufactured by HTC.

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Android, the mobile operating system developed by Google, helped drive the global smartphone market to unprecedented heights in Q2 of 2010, according to a new report from tracking firm IDC. In a paper released today, IDC reports that worldwide sales of smartphones grew 50 percent year over year in the second quarter of 2010, and credited much of the growth to the success of the Android platform.

"Emerging smartphone suppliers, such as HTC, that are allied closely with Google, gained share[s] at the expense of the historic top smartphone players last quarter," an IDC rep wrote in a statement accompanying the report. "This is largely a result of greater consumer interest in smartphones generally and Android devices in particular." The top supplier of Android devices last quarter was HTC, the report shows.

The IDC report, of course, is just icing on the cake for Google, which has been inundated with good news about Android phone sales.

Earlier this week, for instance, Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced that 200,000 new Android devices are sold every day. "People are finally beginning to figure out how successful Android is," Schmidt said at the Techonomy conference in Tahoe, Calif. "The number was about 100,000 (a day) about two months ago. It looks like Android is not just phenomenal but incredibly phenomenal in its growth rate. God knows how long that will continue."

And then on Wednesday, NPD released data showing that the pace of Android sales had helped the Google mobile OS become the most popular smartphone operating system in the US. NPD says that Android-equipped phones currently account for 33 percent of all smartphones purchased by American consumers. That's better than Research In Motion, which logged 28 percent, and Apple, which claimed 22 percent of the market.

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