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Google's Android driving smartphone surge: Gartner

Android Phone software

Tony Avelar/AP

Growing demand for smart phones running on Google's Android platform will help the smartphone market grow 58 per cent this year and 35 per cent next year, research firm Gartner said on Thursday.

Android, a distant No. 2 to Nokia's Symbian just last year, will increase its market share to 39 per cent this year while Symbian's share will roughly halve to 19 per cent following Nokia's decision to dump the platform.

Nokia decided in February to start using Microsoft's Windows Phone as its main smartphone platform, a move Gartner expected would boost Windows Phone market share to 11 per cent next year and to 20 per cent in 2015.

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"This is not about giving Nokia too much credit, this is about saying that Nokia will do everything they can to stay in this business. Anything less than this would mean the end of Nokia," analyst Carolina Milanesi said.

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