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Apple and Samsung may require the help of a courtroom, judge and jury settle many of their differences, but when you consider what is at stake, perhaps the number of court cases and lawsuits isn’t so disproportionately high after all. The two titans of the smartphone market now account for a whopping 46.5 percent of global smartphone sales according to a quarterly report by analytics firm Gartner, and in bad news for rivals, it doesn’t look as though the dominance is about to plateau any time soon.

That means, naturally, that if you were to pick any smartphone buyer in the world, there’s almost a one in two chance they’d be purchasing an iPhone or one of Samsung‘s many different smartphone variants. As the likes of HTC and RIM continue to struggle, the Big Two continue to go from strength to strength.

Gartner has just published its latest report, which covers not only looks at mobile phone sales specific to manufacturer, but also tots up how many users are running on each mobile ecosystem. Although overall mobile phone sales saw a drop of 3.1% during Q3 compared with the same period last year, sales of smartphones rose an incredible 47% to 169.2 million units.

While Apple remains way behind both Samsung and Nokia in terms of overall mobile phone shipments, when one zooms in on the smartphone shipment figures, both Samsung and Apple accounted for 46.5% of smartphone shipments globally. Thanks to the relatively new releases of the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II and Apple’s iPhone 5, consumers have turned out in their tens of millions to grab a device from the two most popular smartphone vendors around.

With the release of Windows Phone 8 and the Nokia Lumia 820 and 920, Nokia will be hoping its smartphone prowess will begin to pick up, although with many early adopters suggesting what the devices take away in cost, they add in weight, the Finnish outfit will need a strong holiday period if it is to make any kind of impression on the more lucrative of the two markets.

With Samsung shipping 55 million compared with Apple’s 23.6 million units, the Korean company is well ahead of its Cupertino rival, but Q4 is expected to be, as it often is, Apple’s strongest quarter. Meanwhile, Android accounts for 72.4% of the global market, and with iOS‘s 13.9% down 1.1% on the same period last year, it would seem the gap in adoption rates between Android and iOS is continuing to increase.

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