Recent figures released by research firm Gartner indicate that the global markets for smartphones, smartphone accessories and mobile devices in general have grown year-on-year in the third quarter, by 42 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively. Android has emerged as the dominant platform in its field, according to these statistics – the mobile operating system is installed in 52.5 percent of the 115.2 million smartphones shipped during this period, according to the Guardian.

The news source reports that Android's recent market share is slightly more than double the 25.3 percent it brought in a year ago. It is emblematic of the quick rise Android has experienced in the three years since its debut. Additionally, it illuminates the difficulties suffered by other major players in the business – some fairly minor, others major.

Apple, for example, had its share of the market drop from 16.6 percent to 15 percent between the third quarter of 2010 and that of 2011, a noticeable but small reduction. Meanwhile, other operating systems, such as Windows Phone and RIM's BlackBerry platform, are going through much more significant problems – with the former's market share dropping from 15.4 percent to 11 percent and the latter seeing a drop in presence from 1.72 million devices to 1.7 million.

BBC News reports that the popularity of smartphones and tablet computers may be a source of the notable recent decline in desktop and laptop computer sales.