Android smartphones made up 56 percent of the global smartphones sold to end users in the first quarter of 2012, giving them a far higher share than the 22.9 percent held by Apple's runner-up iPhone, Gartner said Wednesday.
According to Gartner's data, Samsung was by far the biggest Android smartphone maker as its devices accounted for nearly 44 percent of Android-based smartphone sales. The other Android vendors, including HTC or Motorola, were all at 10 percent or less, Gartner said.
With about 35.6 million Samsung Android smartphones sold (a 24.6 percent share), the South Korean manufacturer beat out the 33.1 million Apple's iPhone's sold (a 22.9 percent share), according to Gartner's tally.
Earlier this month, IDC estimated that Samsung shipped more smartphones to retailers than Apple in the first quarter. IDC said that Samsung shipped a record 42.2 million smartphones in the quarter compared to 35.1 million Apple iPhones.
Combined, Samsung and iPhone account for one of every two smartphones sold, which makes the business fairly dire for competitors such as Research in Motion and Microsoft, Gartner noted.
RIM accounted for 6.9 percent of the 144.3 million smartphones sold in the first quarter, while Microsoft sold just 1.9 percent of the total.
While Gartner noted that about 44 million more smartphones were sold in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, the number of mobile phones in the all-inclusive market declined by 2 percent to 419 million.
It's the first time mobile phone sales have declined since since the second quarter of 2009. Gartner blamed slower demand in the Asia/Pacific region.