As Microsoft struggles to sell their Windows Mobile 7 Smartphones sales of Android devices have surged by a staggering 379% during the past 12 months.According to Canalys, growth was bolstered by brands like Samsung, HTC, LG, and Motorola who backed the platform which saw 51.9 million Android  units sold in Q2 2011.

Of the 56 countries the analyst firm tracks around the world, Android led in 35 of them – achieving an impressive global market share of 48%.

Meanwhile, with shipments of 20.3 million iPhones and a market share of 19%, iOS overtook Nokia’s Symbian platform during the quarter to claim second place worldwide.

In doing so, Apple also became the world’s leading individual smartphone vendor, stripping Nokia of its long-held leadership position.

“The iPhone has been a phenomenal success story for Apple and a watershed product for the market,” explained Canalys principal analyst Chris Jones.

“It’s an impressive success story, given that Apple has only been in the smartphone market for four years. With the next-generation iPhone anticipated in Q3, it’s likely that Apple’s position will grow even stronger in the second half of the year.”

Although Samsung managed to move ahead of Nokia with its flagship Galaxy S II, overall performance in the mobile sector was deemed “underwhelming” by Canalys, especially considering the opportunities offered by the upheaval at Nokia.

“Samsung has failed to fully capitalise on Nokia’s weakened state around the world, as the Finnish company rides out a challenging transitional period,” said Jones.

“It’s the best placed vendor to grow at Nokia’s expense, taking advantage of its global scale and channel reach, but it hasn’t yet done enough to capitalize on this, particularly in emerging markets.”

Nevertheless, Samsung was ranked the largest Android device vendor and the number two vendor overall in the market with shipments of its own-branded devices at 17 million units. Its year-on-year growth of 421% was aided by significant growth of 355% in its bada smart phone shipments.

Jones also noted that Windows Phone OEM partner HTC saw Android driving the vast majority of its portfolio in recent months. Yet, Canalys expects the handset manufacturer to maintain its position as a leading provider of Windows Phone products.

“HTC achieved particular success in the USA this quarter, climbing to a 21% share and consolidating its second place position, while Apple’s North American share dropped from 31% last quarter to 25% this quarter.”

Blackberry like Nokia has been forced to look for growth in emerging markets said Jones.

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