updated 11:25 am EDT, Tue October 5, 2010
Nielsen: Android outsells iPhone among newcomers
Android has managed to overtake the iPhone as the most popular smartphone platform for recent buyers, Nielsen found today. Of Americans who had bought a smartphone within the past six months as of August, 32 percent had bought an Android phone. Apple held virtually steady at 25 percent and was only just slightly eclipsed by the BlackBerry's 26 percent.
Apple's absolute share of the user base still grew slightly to 29 percent at the expense of RIM, whose BlackBerry has dropped to 31 percent, but Android's pace accelerated in August to where 19 percent of the base had a device running Google's OS.
The researchers didn't attempt to explain the spike, though most of the highest-end Android phones were released in the same six months as for new adopters. Verizon launched the HTC Droid Incredible in April as well as Motorola's Droid X and Droid 2. Samsung also launched the Galaxy S on all major US carriers, and Sprint was buoyed by the HTC Evo 4G.
Apple had the advantage of the iPhone 4 but may have again been limited by both having a single device and a lone carrier, AT&T. RIM was also hurt as it didn't significantly update its line until the BlackBerry Torch arrived in mid-August. The numbers for all three major phone platforms may settle by the fall, as relatively few high-end phones are known to be shipping in the second half of the year.