updated 11:10 am EDT, Thu March 29, 2012
Nielsen study shows smartphones now on par
Smartphones are now almost exactly half of all cellphones in the US, Nielsen uncovered Thursday. About 49.7 percent of Americans who owned a cellphone as of February opted for a smartphone. The trend was only due to continue, as over two thirds of buyers in the past three months had picked up smartphones.
The new data also showed the iPhone rapidly catching up to Android. Although all-time ownership still favored Android over iOS, at 48 percent to 32.1 percent, about 43 percent of buyers in the past three months had bought an iPhone where Android's share remained static.
As in past months, the gains were at the expenses of other smartphone platforms. The BlackBerry had 12 percent of total share, but only five percent had bought into the platform recently. "Other" had eight percent overall but was cut in half to four percent for the most recent buyers, implying that Windows Phone was also fading quickly.
The results point to a rapidly entrenching OS duopoly in the US, where other platforms aren't even considered. The shift poses large problems for AT&T's claims that the Lumia 900 launch would beat the iPhone's, since it would be introducing a high-profile phone on a marginal platform.