An analysis of nearly 1 billion smartphones tracked by Canalys in 2013 showed that about 80 per cent of smartphones shipped last year were running Android. (Lee Jae-Won/Reuters)

Nearly eight out of 10 smartphones shipped out last year were running Google's Android operating system, according to an independent analysis published today.

Technology trends watcher Canalys tracked shipments of the handsets for more than 50 countries and found an 11 per cent boost in Android's dominance from 2012.

Canalys estimates that just shy of one billion smartphones (998 million) were shipped in 2013 and that 79 per cent of those devices were on Android, indicating that the leading platform was increasingly eating into the market shares of rivals such as Apple.

Apple's iOS share fell to 15 per cent in 2013, down from 20 per cent in 2012, even though the number of Apple smartphone shipments increased.

Microsoft's fast climb

While Android's reach continues to grow, the fastest climber appears to be Microsoft, which saw its mobile shipments jump 90 per cent in 2013, raising its share by a percentage point to three per cent.

That growth may be modest, but it happened very quickly, according to Canalys. Among the big operating systems players, Windows Phone saw the fastest growth year-over-year at 69 per cent.

Another data analysis released this week by Strategy Analytics also said that Android captured a 79 per cent share of smartphones worldwide last year, extending a lead over Apple and Microsoft. BlackBerry was lumped in to the category of "other" with the likes of Symbian, Nokia and HTC.

The graph below shows the analysis of smartphone market share conducted by Strategy Analytics: