Neilson has released new stats regarding the status of the top 3 smartphones for the US and while Apple and Blackberry are still able to maintain their gold and silver medals, respectively, the stats for Android’s growth are nothing short of incredible.
The race for the lead in U.S. smartphone operating system (OS) consumer market share is tighter than it has ever been. According to November data from The Nielsen Company, the popularity of the Android OS among those who purchased a smartphone in the last six months (40%) makes it the leading OS among recent acquirers.
But despite its surge among recent acquirers, when it comes to overall consumer market share, Android OS (25.8%) is still behind Apple iOS (28.6%). RIM Blackberryâ€™s position is less clear: Its share (26.1%) puts it within the margin of error of both Apple iOS and Android. In other words, RIM remains statistically tied with both Apple for first and Android for third. Appleâ€™s clear lead over Android notwithstanding, this race might still be too close to call. (Official Nielsen Blog)
Note: Emphasis mine.
Unfortunately Nielsen doesn’t distingquish between the iOS devices (which include the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) which inflates Apple’s numbers ahead of their rivals.
Despite the iOS dilution, the fact that 2 out of 5 Americans are choosing Android as their next device spells trouble for RIM, Windows Phone 7 and to a much lesser extent iPhone (who still seen among the masses as the premier smartphone in the US).
With Samsung about to challenge the iPod with their Galaxy S Player, 2011 could be the year Android steals the crown as the top mobile/music player OS (at least in the US).