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Android Puts HTC on the Map

NEW YORK, ( TheStreet) -- Google's (GOOG) Android helped phone maker HTC become the fastest-growing smartphone shop in the third quarter.

While overall mobile phone sales remained flat compared with year-ago levels, the smartphone segment of the market is still hot, logging a 12% annual gain, according to Gartner.

And the trends within the smartphone sector continue to show more of the big shift from stalwarts like Nokia (NOK - Get Report) and Motorola (MOT) to a quickly rising cohort of HTC, Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and Research In Motion (RIMM).

The shift is a familiar one for Nokia, which has been helpless in its attempts to defend its top spot against the popular iPhone, the expanding consumer appeal of BlackBerrys, and now the rise of Android-powered Google phones.

Verizon's Other Droid Phone

Nokia saw modest 4% growth in the past year. But that lagged behind the industry's 12% growth rate, causing the Finnish phone giant to lose 3 percentage points of its share of the market.

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