Google Android Sports Faster U.S. Growth Than iPhone

Google's Android operating system grew 27 percent for the second quarter, which is higher than the growth of Apple's iPhone, which grew 23 percent. BlackBerry has 35 percent, iPhone 28 percent and Android 13 percent of the overall market.

Google's Android operating system has seen more market share growth than Apple's iPhone among smartphone subscribers over the last six months, according to new research from Nielsen.

Apple's iOS currently holds a 28 percent smartphone market share, chasing Research In Motion's BlackBerry platform, which commands 35 percent of the market.

RIM hopes to advance its smartphone share with handhelds based on its forthcoming BlackBerry 6 platform, which is scheduled for a release later this year.

Apple launched its first iPhone more than three years ago and until recently has seen the most subscriber growth as it seeks to capture the U.S. smartphone crown from RIM.

While Android wields just 13 percent of the U.S. smartphone market overall, it edged past Apple's iOS in the second quarter to grab a 27 percent share of those recent smartphone subscribers, Nielsen found. BlackBerry led with 33 percent of new subscribers.

Smartphones such as Verizon's Droid line (the Motorola Droid, HTC Droid Incredible and Motorola Droid X), the HTC Evo 4G and Google's Nexus One gadget provided formidable competition to the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4.

These handsets are all based on Android 2.1, and most of them are currently being upgraded to Android 2.2, which boasts enterprise capabilities and faster browser performance, among other perks.

Nielsen's bullish Android numbers were backed up by Canalys, which said Android sported a stunning 886 percent worldwide shipment growth for the second quarter and confirmed that Verizon's Droid lineup has buoyed U.S. sales.

However, Nielsen found that the iPhone remains the most desired phone among those mulling a smartphone switch. Some 21 percent of current Android users and 29 percent of BlackBerry owners are considering the move to the iPhone.

Overall, the iPhone and Android devices are carrying the U.S. smartphone market, according to Nielsen.

Devices that let users browse the Web, exchange e-mail, pictures and videos, and access all manner of applications now make up fully 25 percent of the U.S. mobile market, up from 23 percent in the first quarter.