Nielsen: Android grabs U.S. smartphone lead

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.