IDC has said three out of every four smartphones sold in the third quarter featured Google Inc.'s Android mobile operating system, as the gap between Google and Apple Inc.-based phones widened further, Reuters has reported. Shipments of Android-based smartphones made by Samsung, HTC and other vendors nearly doubled in the third quarter, reaching 136 million units, IDC said. The strong sales boosted Android's share of the worldwide smartphone market to 75%, from 57.5% in the year-ago period. Apple's share of the market increased to 14.9% during the third quarter, from 13.8% a year earlier, the report said. "Google has a thriving, multi-faceted product portfolio. Many of its competitors, with weaker tie-ins to the mobile OS, do not," IDC analyst Kevin Restivo said in the report.