Google Android is set to overtake Symbian next year as the most popular smartphone platform in Europe, says IDC.

The research firm revealed that Android had a 23 percent share of the market in Q3 but still lags behind Symbian, commonly used on Nokia handsets, and Apple's iPhone.

"The iPhone was last year's hot device and now people are looking for something different," IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo said.

However, Jeronimo believes next year, Android will grab the top spot.

HTC-manufactured devices accounted for 39 percent of all Android smartphones sold during the first three quarters of this year, followed by Sony Ericsson with 27 percent and Samsung with 14 percent.

Jeronimo expects this to change next year, thanks to Samsung's Galaxy S handset, which has already sold more than five million units.

"Samsung is gaining following the launch of the Galaxy S in the second half," he said, adding that the handset is seen as offering similar feel, function, and third-party applications to an iPhone for a lower price.

Jeronimo said Android has already become the second most-popular smartphone operating system worldwide, behind Symbian. He also said smartphones would make up nearly half (49 percent) of all mobile phones shipped in 2011, which is up on 35 percent in 2010.

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