Google Inc.’s Android OS held a marketshare of more than 50 percent due to strong retail sales of devices that utilize the platform, according to Gartner Inc.

The firm this week said Android accounted for 52.5 percent of sales sold in the third quarter.

By comparison, Apple Inc. held a 42 percent share in the same period.

Overall, the global smartphone market increased to 5.6 percent to 440.5 million units.

New Android-based devices include Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.’s Samsung Galaxy S II, HTC Corp.’s HTC Amaze 4G, and Motorola Mobility Inc.’s Droid RAZR.

The new Android 4.0 OS, code-named Ice Cream Sandwich, includes the ability to create folders of apps, list view and flick away currently running apps, take screen shots, save e-mails for offline search, set mobile data limits, Android Beam to bump info to another user, and a new face unlock feature to unlock the phone via facial recognition technology.

Finally, the new OS is said to include improved copy / paste functionality, added photo editing options, and an improved keyboard.

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