Can anyone challenge Android's market dominance?

(Relaxnews) - Android now accounts for over 70 percent of the world smartphone market and the demand for handsets is still growing.

If any further proof were needed that Android is cornering the smartphone market, or of the size of the challenge facing Microsoft and Blackberry in regaining a foothold in the market were needed, look no further than the latest figures from Gartner. They show that smartphone sales jumped another 46.9 percent over the third quarter compared with the same period in 2011 and that over the last three months alone, Android claimed another 122 million users, giving it a 72 percent market share. Over the same period, 23.5 million people bought an iPhone, putting the operating system in second place, while BlackBerry maker RIM still managed to sell 8.9 million handsets, putting it in third.

And though it's worth remembering that these figures do not include sales of Microsoft's new Windows Phone 8 handsets which didn't launch until November, they do highlight that the smartphone market has not stopped growing, and that Android is in a very powerful position. The more challengers a market has, the more businesses are forced to innovate and differentiate. That's why the news that RIM will be launching new BlackBerry handsets in January and that it is still holding onto the third place in the smartphone league tables is welcome news. RIM's early contribution to the smartphone market essentially paved the way for Android and Apple to follow. And now it, and Microsoft, will have to do it all over again. It is a daunting challenge but one that all smartphone owners, whether Android or Apple fans, should be hoping they overcome for the sake of new features, better technology and continued innovation and value for money. Copyright (AFP RELAXNEWS), 2012.