Apple may be coming under pressure from Samsung's growing arsenal of Android smartphones, although the tech giant is enjoying major mobile OS gains.
Figures released by Internet specialist Net Applications, based on data from 40,000 customer Web sites, highlight Apple's dominance in the mobile OS war, where the iPhone and iPad maker enjoys a massive lead over Google's Android operating system.
Apple's iPad has helped drive massive share gains in the mobile OS market.
Apple held 61.64 per cent of the mobile/tablet OS market in October, according to Net Applications, up from 54.65 per cent in the prior month, and a hike of more than 12 percentage points from December 2010. Android, in contrast, accounted for 18.9 per cent of the market in October, up from 16.3 per cent in September, an increase of just over 7 percentage points from December.
Android, however, surpassed Java ME for the first time in October, according to the research. The Java OS had 12.84 per cent share, ahead of Symbian with 3.48 per cent and Research in Motion 's BlackBerry OS with 2.48 per cent.
The figures make for interesting reading, particularly at a time when Apple's smartphone business is under intense scrutiny. Apple sold 17.07 million iPhones during its recent fiscal fourth quarter, well below analysts' projections, as consumers awaited the launch of the iPhone 4S.
The disappointing iPhone sales, however, should be viewed as a mere blip against the backdrop of Apple's overall consumer hardware business.
In addition to the phenomenally successful iPhone, Apple's iPod Touch carries the iOS operating system, as does the iPad. The results of Net Applications' survey underlines these devices' huge market presence.
Apple, for example, sold a record 11.1 million iPads during the recent quarter, taking the tablet's customer base to more than 29 million. The Cupertino, Calif.-based firm also hit a significant milestone during its fiscal fourth quarter, surpassing more than a quarter of a billion iOS device sales since launching the iPhone, its first iOS offering, in 2007.
Shares of Apple closed down $8.27, or 2.04 per cent, at $396.51 on Tuesday.