Washington - The Google Android system was used on 78.9% of smartphones sold globally in 2013, a survey showed on Wednesday.
The report by the research firm Strategy Analytics confirms the ascendancy of Android, which has extended its lead over Apple's iOS, which is used on the iPhone.
"There is little doubt that 2013 was the year of Android," said Neil Mawston, analyst with the consultancy.
"However, Android's annual growth rate slowed to 62% in 2013, its lowest level in the platform's history. We expect Android's growth to slow further in 2014 due to market saturation, and rivals like Microsoft or Firefox will be ready to pounce on any signs of a major slowdown for Android this year."
The report said Apple's global market share slipped to 15.5% in 2013 from 19.4% in 2012. Meanwhile Windows Phone grabbed third place with a 3.6% share, up from 2.7% a year earlier.
"Microsoft is now firmly established as the smartphone industry's third major ecosystem, shipping 35.7 million units worldwide," Mawston said.
"However, the Windows Phone platform is still struggling to gain traction in the low-tier and premium-tier smartphone categories and they remain serious weaknesses that Microsoft will need to address in 2014."
Strategy Analytics said global smartphone sales rose 41% last year to 990 million.
A report on Monday by IDC said the total was just over one billion, with Samsung the largest vendor at 31.3%.