Android Now No. 1 Smartphone OS, Survey Says
New stats from The Nielsen Company show that Android, the mobile device software made by Google, has ascended to the top U.S. spot in the smartphone consumer market.
For November 2010 through January 2011, Nielsen has Android with 29 percent of the subscriber market, compared with 27 percent each for its chief competitors Research in Motion (BlackBerry) and Apple (iPhone ).
Android has been climbing steadily in recent years, and in the second half of last year, Nielsen ranked it as the hottest selling smartphone software . Canalys, another analyst firm, said that Android had edged out longtime worldwide leader Symbian (Nokia's smartphone software) in January 2010.
It should be noted, however, that the Android platform – unlike Research in Motion and Apple's software – is used across a number of handsets made by HTC, Motorola, Samsung and others.
So in terms of smartphone operating system by manufacturer, Research in Motion and Apple are actually tied at the top of the heap with those 27 percent figures; the next-best handset maker is HTC with 12 percent of its smartphones using Android and seven percent running Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's smartphone operating system.
At any rate, the future is looking bright for Android. Nielsen is also reporting that of the big three, Android is attracting a bit more of the younger crowd (see below), though the figures are fairly uniform across the board.