Android has topped a recent study from Nielsen about the number of U.S. mobile users who own a smartphone.
By the end of last month, the analytics company found that 54.9 percent of all U.S. mobile users actually own mobile phones’ with operating systems. This means almost two-thirds of Americans are likely to have an Android, iPhone, or BlackBerry inside his/her pocket.
The most revealing figure of the demographic is that Android accounted for 51.8 percent of all U.S. smartphone owners. Second place went to the iPhone for its 34.3 percent share, followed by BlackBerry at third place with 8.1 percent.
In a wider coverage of its study, Nielsen followed how 54.6 percent of smartphone buyers preferred to purchase an Android handset compared to other mobile operating systems. The iOS, however, took a sizable share of its own with 36.3 percent, whereas BlackBerry settled for a modest 4 percent market share.
RIM’s BlackBerry had a relatively luckier fate than Microsoft during the same period. The software giant’s new Windows Phone platform remained to live under the shadows of the top three mobile OSes in the U.S. mobile market. Windows Mobile, Microsoft’s outdated operating system, actually registered bigger numbers than Windows Phone devices, with 3 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively. Regardless of its tie-up with Nokia, Microsoft’s Windows Phone users are mostly HTC or Samsung handset owners, with 0.5 percent market share as opposed to Nokia’s 0.3 percent.
Nielsen broke the survey down further to find which single mobile maker had the most market share. Overall, Apple is still the highest phone maker with its iPhones comprising 34 percent of all U.S. smartphones. Android OS led the smartphone platform race but was mostly split among three major phone makers: Samsung (17 percent), HTC (14 percent), and Motorola (11 percent).
The study almost falls in line with comScore’s own research back in April, which saw Android with 50 percent of the U.S. smartphone market.
Feature phones, handsets that do not come with full-blown operating systems, are slowly losing steam as more and more customers switch to smarter phones that can offer more than just messaging and calling features. Most consumers actually buy smartphones for the slew of associated mobile apps that can add to their productivity and entertainment.
The release flagship devices such as Samsung’s Galaxy S III and HTC’s One series will only boost Android sales in the U.S. Apple will likely release its next-generation iPhone by fall this year.
Consumers will spend lesser money on computers, especially with new technologies offering more convenience and portability at almost similar overall performances, which include media tablets and smartphones, said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst of Gartner.