A recent survey from Nielsen has revealed that Android has commanded the most sales for those who have bought a smartphone over the last six months. Though BlackBerry is still the king of the hill when it comes to overall market share, the gap with iOS is shrinking. Over the last six months, 32% of shoppers bought an Android phone, 26% a BlackBerry, and 25% an iPhone. In terms of global share, RIM is holding out at 31%, iPhone OS at 28%, and Android at 19%.
Other surveys lately seem to echo these findings. A NetMarket Share study emphasized the low absolute share Android currently commands, while another Nielsen survey showed many BlackBerry users were willing to make the jump to either iPhone or Android, and a ChangeWave Study showed a significant portion of all smartphone shoppers were planning on Android. As much as Android may be commanding the lead right now, it’s a big and growing smartphone market, with plenty of room for all of the platforms to claim a piece of the pie.
I like that Nielsen’s numbers in this study are specific to smartphones, and not fluffing up the iOS market share with stuff like tablets, TVs, and iPods. Of course, RIM will be in a similar position soon as it gradually transitions its smartphones to use the QNX Neutrino operating system introduced on the PlayBook tablet. Android has a distinct advantage over both platforms in that it has recruited the aid of several cell phone manufacturers to spread Google’s mobile OS, and products like the Samsung Galaxy Tab straddle tablet and smartphone categories.