When someone says, “smartphone”, almost everyone responds “iPhone”.  Such is the impact the iPhone has had on the smartphone market.

However, the growth trends suggest that Microsoft should have an eye on other vendors, especially in the Android side of things.  NetMarketShare’s numbers show that in the last year, Android phones have grown in market share from 17% to 27%, while iPhone market share grew only 5% to 60%.

Samsung has sold more than 30 million Galaxy S III smartphones in about five months, making it one of the fastest selling smartphones in the world. Samsung Electronics Co. launched the smartphone at the end of May, months before competitors began shipping the latest versions of their top phones. Apple’s iPhone 5 came out in September.

Analyst Michael Walkley from Canaccord Genuity  conducted a study to measure Galaxy S3 sales against  the iPhone 4S. According to channel checks performed during May-August 2012, the Galaxy S3 has surpassed the iPhone 4S with two major carriers: Verizon (in July and August) and Sprint (in August).

Apple’s iPhone4 model had been the top choice with all three U.S. carriers ever since it launched back in October 2011.

Can HTC and Nokia catch up with surging Android phones, led by Samsung, or will Microsoft need to get into the smartphone hardware business?

What do you think?

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