AndroidA research firm has stated that Android captured a record 87.5% of the global smartphone market in the third quarter.

Strategy Analytics found Android’s share increase from 84.1% in the same period a year ago. Apple’s iOS saw its share slip to 12.1% from 13.6%.

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According to Strategy Analytics’ Woody Oh, “Android’s leadership of the global smartphone market looks unassailable at the moment.”

“Its low-cost services and user-friendly software remain attractive to hardware makers, operators and consumers worldwide.”

Challenge For Google

Meanwhile, Oh stressed that Android’s dominance poses challenges for Google, which offers the system for free to manufacturers.

“The Android platform is getting overcrowded with hundreds of manufacturers as few Android device vendors make profits. Google’s new Pixel range is attacking its own hardware partners that made Android popular in the first place.”

The report said global smartphone shipments grew 6% from a year ago to 375.4m in the quarter, the fastest growth rate for a year.

Blackberry, Windows Drop

According to the survey, the market share for other operating systems including Windows and BlackBerry fell to a minuscule 0.3% from 2.3% last year.

Executive Director of the research firm Neil Mawston said strategic shifts have ensured their near disappearance.

“BlackBerry and Microsoft Windows Phone have all but disappeared due to strategic shifts, while (Samsung’s) Tizen and other emerging platforms softened as a result of limited product portfolios and modest developer support.”