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Nielsen: Android grabs U.S. smartphone lead

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2011
News Categories: iPhone

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Android now enjoys the largest installed base of any smartphone operating system in the U.S., according to the latest data from Nielsen. As of March 2011, the report states, 37 percent of U.S. smartphone users own an Android device, followed by 27 percent who use an iPhone, and 22 percent who use a RIM BlackBerry. By comparison, Apple held the U.S. smartphone OS lead as recently as November of last year with a 28.6 percent share of the market, compared to 26.1 percent for BlackBerry and 25.8 percent for Android. Unsurprisingly, the new data showed that half of all those surveyed who purchased a smartphone in the last six months bought an Android device, compared to a quarter who purchased iPhones, and 15 percent who bought a BlackBerry. Among consumers planning to buy a new smartphone in the next year, 31 percent plan to buy an Android device, 30 percent plan to buy an iPhone, and 11 percent plan to buy a BlackBerry, while 20 percent are unsure.

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Comments

1

This is interesting enough, but ultimately, the question is going to be who holds the lead in paid software and other “add ons” to the platform.

When Android’s app market sales come anywhere close to iOS’s app market sales, wake me up.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on April 26, 2011 at 6:58 AM (PDT)

2

To Code Monkey’s point:

Where are the industry profits located?  1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA 95014….that’s where.

Posted by Charles Farley on April 26, 2011 at 7:35 AM (PDT)

3

I agree with #1,.. wake me up when it comes to that point ... lol

Posted by dennis on April 26, 2011 at 9:33 AM (PDT)

4

It is so easy to announce some numbers by category ... often ill-defined and try to prove a point.  The point here is what operating system is the most popular.  I wonder did they include iPad touch numbers.  I doubt it.  And what is the real point.  So many of the analysts and survey groups are funded by special interest groups.  But the media people sure like to repeat the numbers like they are from the great beyond without dispute. 
Have a nice day all.

Posted by madhatter61 on April 26, 2011 at 10:52 AM (PDT)

5

@4: You almost made a point, but then veered off the road and right off that cliff wink

You are right they often draw strange categories and distinctions to make a point, but the distinction here for smartphones IS the correct one, particularly for this story, because Android won out on the total installs vs. total iOS installs over a year ago, and won on the global smartphone market months ago but managed to hold on smartphones in the US. Versions of Android appear on all manner of non-smart phone, tablet, media player, etc., and it’s available globally, something not true for iOS.

Raw numbers wise it’s not even a contest, Android won ages ago and because it’s free and works well for what it does is unlikely to disappear any time soon. On top of that, because it’s provided in such an extensible, modifiable state, it’s the perfect base OS for all manner of electronic gadget, even those that bear only superficial resemblance to a full fledged iOS or Android device. However, software and content creators are only going to pay the platform but so much attention if there isn’t a viable market on the platform, and that’s still very much an open question.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on April 26, 2011 at 11:15 AM (PDT)

6

I see you are talking iPhones, where is the iPad data in this? Sounds like the dumb survey that talk PCs and leave out iPads in that also!

Posted by PaulTT on April 27, 2011 at 7:01 AM (PDT)

7

... and #6 decided to drive right off the same cliff.

@PaulTT - Speaking of just the raw numbers of devices running it, Android outnumbers all iOS devices and has done so for a long time (relatively speaking).

In fact, the ONLY category you could talk about iOS having a larger install base was explicit smartphones in the U.S., since that was the only place iOS was leading.

You really don’t want to fall back on the nitpicking of categories because while iOS, in terms of revenue, direct and indirect, is still king, device numbers wise it has no hope against Android.

Free to anyone who wants to use it and extensible enough to power netbooks, tablets, media players, smart phones, feature phones, etc., etc. is bound to beat an OS that only runs on a handful of devices from a single corporation.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on April 27, 2011 at 7:34 AM (PDT)

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