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(Pocket-lint) - Research by Strategy Analytics has found that operating systems Android and iOS combined made up for a record 92 per cent of smartphones shipped in the fourth quarter of 2012. That leaves a mere 8 per cent to RIM's BlackBerry, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 and 8, and other lesser known software.

Of the top two, the results also show that Android is by far the clear leader, not least because it drives a swathe of handsets from multiple manufacturers - iOS appears on only three or four current smartphones from Apple.

There were 152.1 million Android smartphones shipped in Q4 2012, in comparison to 47.8 million iPhones. A staggering 479 million Android phones were shipped throughout 2012, more than double the 238.9 million registered the year before.


Apple had a significant year-on-year rise in the smartphones it shipped, with 135.8 million in 2012, against 93 million in 2011, but those figures can't touch the huge growth of devices sporting its major rival OS.

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What these figures do prove is how much of a Herculean task it is for RIM and its new BlackBerry 10 operating system to get a foothold in a market so demonstratively dominated by Apple and Google. Microsoft too.

BB10 will be launched on Wednesday (30 January). Pocket-lint will be there to reveal whether RIM has a valid competitor on its hands. Or not.

Writing by Rik Henderson.