Android Ranked Hottest Smartphone Software, but Apple Still Reigns
New stats from The Nielsen Company show that in the past six months, the Android smartphone operating system has surged to nearly 41 percent of the market. It has left the other top two operating systems, Apple's iPhone and Research in Motion's BlackBerry, in the dust at about 27 and 19 percent as of Nov. 2010, respectively.
The iPhone operating system is still the most popular overall, but just barely. Again, as of Nov. 2010, the iPhone racked up a 28.6 percent market share, compared to 26.1 for BlackBerry and 25.8 percent for Android (though Nielsen noted that due to the margin of error the BlackBerry is essentially tied with both the iPhone and Android).
Over the past six months, the trends have been clear : Android gaining, BlackBerry dropping and Apple holding steady. In Sept., Apple dethroned BlackBerry for the top smartphone operating system spot; Android, meanwhile, has climbed 10 percentage points in market share since June.
Some of Android's success has been pegged to the operating system appearing on a host of different handsets, as well as the general craze these days for smartphones.
The triumvirate of Apple, BlackBerry and Android, however, might be threatened by Microsoft's newest foray into the smartphone arena with its Windows Phone 7 operating system that launched in Nov. 2010.
For now, it looks like Windows Phone 7 has underperformed in terms of moving units. [Read: Is Windows Phone 7 a Flop? ]
But it has a lot of wind in its sails yet from the developer and app-making side of things, and after all, one should never count out a company with the heft of Microsoft.