Android ran 40 percent of U.S. smartphones purchased in the six months leading up to November. However, Nielsen noted Apple remains the overall smartphone market leader.
Google's Android operating system powered 40.8 percent of
smartphones purchased in the last six months, though Apple iOS led the United States in
consumer market share, according to the Nielsen Company.
Since June 2010, 27 percent of devices purchased ran iOS,
while 19 percent bought were Research In Motion BlackBerry handsets, according
to the market researcher's November data
Google's Android creator Andy Rubin may have foreshadowed
the increase in December when he tweeted that there
were 300,000 daily activations
of Android phones. Some of these were no doubt
buoyed by strong holiday sales in November.
Verizon Wireless offered sharply discounted Samsung
Galaxy S devices such as the Continuum for $99, and even made several Android
handsets available for sale to new customers through Amazon Wireless for one
penny. Samsung said
on Jan. 6 it has shipped 10 million units of its Galaxy S
devices since June 2010.
Overall, Android's market share tallied 25.8 percent, up
from Nielsen's October Android count of 22.7 percent.
Apple iOS, locked in a statistical tie
with RIM's BlackBerry OS through
October at 27 percent, led with 28.6 percent.
RIM, which commanded 34 percent of the U.S. smartphone
market in June, continued its sharp decline, sliding to 26 percent of the
This plot put it within the margin of error of both Apple
iOS and Android, prompting Nielsen to conclude that "RIM remains
statistically tied with both Apple for first and Android for third."
Even so, Nielsen cheerfully noted that through November,
45 of recent handset purchasers picked a smartphone over a feature phone.
The strong demand for smartphones may give RIM small
comfort in taking the No. 3 position, assuming the company's fall slows and iOS
and Android don't continue their upward march.
Smartphones, particularly Android handsets and
Windows 7 devices
, should spark great interest at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show this week.
However, early word is that tablets based on Android
, and possibly Microsoft Windows 7, will rule the roost.