updated 03:13 pm EDT, Mon May 7, 2012
Survey shows Apple number manufacturer, Android near 50 percent
A majority of US mobile subscribers are now choosing smartphones over other kinds of handsets, according to new numbers out from Nielsen. Smartphones currently make up 50.4 percent of handsets, up from 47.8 percent in December 2011. Nielsen's report also looked at the most popular operating systems among smartphones, finding that Android was by far the favorite at 48.5 percent of smartphones sold in March. iOS came in second with 32 percent, while RIM's BlackBerry OS was in third with 11.6 percent.
Nielsen's figures have, for some time, shown a shrinking gap in adoption between smartphones and feature phones, with parity between the two occurring around February this year. The new figures bear out a trend previous Nielsen estimates sketched out, and, should the trend hold, the market is likely to see a rapid decline in the percentage of customers buying feature phones while smartphones become the standard.
Nielsen's data also revealed a number of demographic trends. Smartphones were slightly more popular among female mobile subscribers than among males. Smartphones were also more popular among Asians, Hispanics, and African-Americans than among white Americans.
The data is in keeping not only with previous Nielsen information, but also with larger trends, which have seen smartphones increasingly popular around the world.