Mountain View, Calif. — Google continues to be a  force to be reckoned with, especially after news Monday that the company’s Android platform has taken nearly 50 percent of the global smartphone market, as reported by research firm Canalys.

Canalys found that shipments of Android-based smartphones reached 32.9 million in 2010’s fourth quarter, surpassing Nokia’s Symbian platform at 31 million worldwide. Although this is the case, Nokia still retained its position as the leading global smart phone vendor, Canalys said.

Google’s platform continues to make big strides, boasting 48 percent of the smartphone market in the second quarter of 2011, with Apple coming in a distant second with a market share of 19 percent. Samsung also overtook Nokia, shipping 17 million devices — a 421 percent rise versus a year ago, Reuters reported.

“Samsung has failed to fully capitalize on Nokia’s weakened state around the world, as the Finnish company rides out a challenging transitional period,” Canalys analyst Chris Jones said. “It’s the best-placed vendor to grow at Nokia’s expense, taking advantage of its global scale and channel reach, but it hasn’t yet done enough to capitalize on this, particularly in emerging markets.”

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