A new study by researcher Canalys indicates that Google's Android platform has reached nearly 50 percent of the global smartphone market.

Canalys' Q2 2011 smartphone market estimates show that globally, the industry grew by 73 percent year-on-year with over 100 million devices shipped in Q2 2011. This seems to align with a study from IMS Research that claims smartphones will account for 28 percent of handsets sold this year.

Android ranked number one in 35 of the 56 countries that Canalys polled in the market estimate. Shipments of devices running Google's operating system were up 379 percent from this time last year.

Apple's iOS platform took the number two spot with a share of 19 percent globally, trumping Nokia's Symbian which previously held the second position.

In what Google has called their best deal ever, the company acquired the 22-month-old mobile phone software startup Android in August 2005 for an undisclosed sum (estimated to be around $50 million). Development on the mobile OS was put into overdrive and in September 2008, T-mobile unveiled the first "Google phone", the HTC-developed G1.

Since that time, Android has steadily climbed the proverbial mobile OS ladder, overtaking Apple's popular iPhone in the US this past January and surpassing RIM's BlackBerry devices in April.

Key to Google's overwhelming success is the fact that Android is open-source software and has been licensed for use on multiple manufacturers' devices.