Android Squeaks Into Top Spot for U.S. Smartphone Market Share, BlackBerry and iPhone Neck and Neck for Second

Nielsen recently published some study data comparing smartphone operating system and manufacturer market share recently, showing RIM and Apple battling for second place with 27% each, while the combined efforts of HTC, Samsung, Motorola and LG have pushed Android to 29%. It was only two months ago that iOS had a pretty distinctive lead, and BlackBerry was leading Android by a sliver. Among the underdogs, Windows Phone has taken the lead with 10%, followed by webOS with 4%, and finally Symbian with 2%.

The study also broke down the age brackets for each platform, though the data is pretty consistent across the board. The only noticeable trends are that young folks prefer Android, while older smartphone owners lean towards webOS and Symbian.

We’ve seen research data that puts Android second only to Symbian in the worldwide market, when as recently as September, iOS claimed half of the U.S. smartphone market share. To be fair, in the light of this Nielsen study, the U.S. smartphone market looks like a three-way cage match between a team of midgets and two giants; the real indicator of success will be if any given manufacturer can sell more Android phones alone than Apple or RIM, which seems to me unlikely in the near future.

[via Nielsen]

P.S.: Since when did HTC start making webOS products?

  • “The real indicator of success will be if any given manufacturer can sell more Android phones alone than Apple or RIM”

    Why should this hold true? It’s the size of the ecosystem that matters.

    • I suppose it depends who you ask. I was thinking mainly from a stockholder’s perspective… I would sooner buy into a company that had full control of the OS and didn’t risk releasing products that were essentially identical to the competition.

    • I suspect it holds true because HTC, Samsung, Moto, and LG all want to make money from selling phones, not just be part of the “winning ecosystem”. The Android total matters to Google, Android devs, and phone geeks, but its gonna be of secondary importance to the Android handset manufacturers.

      Its not clear yet that there’s a winning business model in Android for anyone but Google, though if the number of Android manufacturers thins out, then that might change.

  • HTC was the manufacturer of many of the older Treos and the Treo Pro, which I are still counted under the HP/Palm umbrella. Most likely corporate customers holding on to old hardware hesitant to upgrade.

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