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Android retains hold on smartphone market: News in brief

Android is still the leading smartphone OS, and Apple is the top manufacturer. Plus: news on MobileIron 4.5, Panasonic’s future and Ice Cream Sandwich support.

Android was the number-one U.S. smartphone operating system in the third quarter, with 42.8% market share, according to Nielsen. Apple came in second with 28.3% and was also the top manufacturer, because it makes all iPhones. (HTC, Samsung and Motorola were the top Android phone manufacturers.)

Together, Apple and Android phones accounted for 83% of all mobile app downloads in the 30 days prior to Nielsen’s survey. Forty-four percent of all mobile phone users in the U.S. have smartphones, the survey said.

A report last month said the iPhone had overtaken BlackBerry as the most popular smartphone among business users.

MobileIron 4.5 focuses on Android management

MobileIron released a new version of its mobile device management software, which offers improvements for managing Android devices. The company anticipates significant growth in enterprise Android use in 2012, so MobileIron 4.5 offers encryption enforcement, certificate management, VPN management with Cisco Systems AnyConnect integration and more.

Android security issues are a top concern among organizations considering the mobile operating system for their workers. MobileIron 4.5 also manages iOS, WebOS, Symbian, Blackberry and Windows Phone devices.

Just what we need: MORE Android phones

Panasonic is jumping into the Android phone market. Japanese publication The Nikkei reports, via TechCrunch, that the company is planning to sell Android smartphones in Europe and possibly North America and Asia a few years later. Panasonic already sells Android smartphones in its home country of Japan.

LG, Sony Ericsson all scream for Ice Cream Sandwich

Most users are still stuck on Android 2.3 or 2.2, but Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will eventually be available for some LG and Sony Ericsson smartphones. LG said on its Facebook page this week that at least four of its Optimus smartphones will get the new operating system, reported. And Sony Ericsson made a similar Facebook announcement regarding its Xperia smartphones, which should get Ice Cream Sandwich by March 2012, according to Mashable.

Margaret Hanley is’s assistant site editor. Email her here. Colin Steele is’s senior site editor. Email him and follow him on Twitter @colinsteele.

Dig Deeper on Google Android operating system and devices

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