Google's Android on 75 Percent of Smartphones in 2012

Huge increase in Android's market share

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Android is king.

    Google's open-source smartphone software was on 75 percent of all smartphones shipped in 2012, according to reports.

    The market share is a 91 percent jump from the slice of the pie Google had in 2011, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Apple's iOS was on 15 percent of phones -- all iPhones, of course -- shipped in the same period.

    Google bought Android in 2005, before "pocket-sized" computers became the consumer wave of the present. By purchasing a smartphone operating system, the tech giant guarantees that consumers use its software, like YouTube and Google Maps, the newspaper reported.

    By ensuring consumers use its products -- similar to how Microsoft ensured Windows users bought Microsoft Office -- Android and Google ensure a giant slice of the market, the newspaper reported.

    Any smartphone manufacturer can load Android onto its phones for free, the newspaper reported. And any consumer can download it for free. Android is given away in exchange for the Google advertisements that will appear on a user's screen.

    But since Android can be loaded onto anything, some experts question its true "market share." The source code can be altered so much as to be unrecognizable.