Whenever we report on analyst smartphone numbers, we always stress the fact that they’re shipments, rather than sales to actual people – it’s guesswork how many of the phones are on shelves or in warehouses versus people’s hands. Gartner does have some estimates of sales to end users for the third quarter of this year, though. It claims 169.2m smartphones were sold in Q3, up 46.9% year-on-year, and accounting for 39.6% of all mobile phones sold in the world. That includes 122.5m Android smartphones, 23.6m iPhones and 8.9m BlackBerry handsets. Meanwhile, the performance of Microsoft’s Windows Phone is put into perspective by the fact that its 4.1m sales were behind Samsung’s Bada OS (5m) and even Nokia’s mothballed Symbian (4.4m).

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