Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Android Popularity Grows, While iOS and BlackBerry Dwindle

Android Popularity Grows, While iOS and BlackBerry Dwindle: "

In the past six months, Android's appeal has grown while desire for iOS and Blackberry devices shrinks. Source: The Nielsen Company

What type of smartphone are you planning on purchasing next?

If you answered Android, you are now in the majority.

According to surveys conducted by Nielsen for January to March 2011, 31% of consumers plan to make their next smartphone purchase an Android handset. 30% said they’d be getting an iOS device. Those numbers are up for Android since July to September 2010, when only 26% were planning on an Android for their next purchase and 33% wanted an iPhone.

A number of solid Android handsets have been released so far this year, with attractive features like 4G connectivity, large 4-inch+ displays, and speedy processors. And with the addition of in-app billing and the Amazon App Store, Android’s historically underwhelming app ecosystem is looking more appealing for both app developers and their app purchasing audience. Sales for Android devices like the HTC Thunderbolt have reportedly been strong, often outpacing that of the iPhone 4.

But iOS wasn’t the only smartphone to decline in popularity. Research in Motion’s BlackBerry also felt the pinch, with consumer favor for the OS dropping from 13% in 2010 to 11% in the first quarter of 2011.

Smartphone market shares as of March 2011. Source: The Nielsen Company

Not surprisingly, the current shares in the smartphone market reflect that same relationship as these consumer-preference scores. Android handsets dominate with 37% of the market, iOS is currently the second most popular with 27%, and RIM is third with 22%.

But consumers are fickle. Will the release of the next iPhone flip those numbers in Apple’s favor, or will Android gain a large enough foothold that it will dominate for the foreseeable future?


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