Nielsen: Android smartphone sales eclipse iPhone

Smartphones now make up 25 percent of the U.S. mobile market, up from 23 percent in the first quarter of 2010, according to new data issued by The Nielsen Company. Nielsen--which now expects smartphones to overtake feature phones in the U.S. by the end of 2011--reports that smartphones based on Google's Android operating system continue to gather steam, nosing past Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone to account for 27 percent of smartphone sales over the last six months, compared to 23 percent for the iPhone.

Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry OS remains the U.S. market leader, representing 35 percent of smartphone subscribers nationwide--the iPhone is next at 28 percent, followed by Microsoft's Windows Mobile (15 percent, down from 27 percent a year ago) and Android (13 percent). Among current subscribers thinking of switching devices, the iPhone is the object of greatest desire--29 percent of existing BlackBerry users and 21 percent of Android users are mulling a move to the Apple smartphone, with 89 percent of current iPhone users planning to remain loyal. Seventy one percent of Android users plan to remain with their current platform, compared to 42 percent of BlackBerry users.

For more on the state of the U.S. smartphone market:
- read this Nielsen Blog entry

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Canalys: Android shipments grew 886 percent annually in second quarter
iPhone still dominates developer focus, but Android gaining fast
Nielsen: Android users younger than iPhone peers

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