posted by Thom Holwerda on Mon 3rd Jan 2011 23:19 UTC
IconYou may not have noticed it, but in the past six months, we've been experiencing a true massacre. Not one written in blood, but one written in microchips and touchscreen displays. The scene of the crime? The United States. The perpetrator? Google's Android. The victims? Everybody else.

Market research firm Nielsen has released its figures for the past six months (for the US matket!), and iPhone 4 or no, Android is by far the number one choice for consumers buying smartphones. In the past six months, 40.8% of smartphone buyers opted for an Android device, compared to 26.9% who preferred an iOS smartphone, or 19.2% who opted for a BlackBerry device.

Looking at the trends, Android is growing very fast, while both iOS and BlackBerry seem to be levelling out somewhat; iOS/iPhone after a period of growth, BlackBerry after a period of (sharp) decline. Of course, it is important to note that we're looking at smartphones only; the Touch, iPad, and Galaxy Tab are not included, for instance.

However, if we were to look at installed base (in the US!), the iPhone still leads (28.6%) over Android (25.8%) - which is to be expected since it's been on the market longer than Android. BlackBerry is in decline here, but still pulls out an impressive 26.1%.

Some say the arrival of a potential Verizon iPhone might change things around, but I highly doubt it will have as big an impact as many seem to think. There's a whole new generation of Android-based smartphones on the waiting list, sporting things like dual-core processors and what not. The development pace of Android, and the accompanying devices, is far quicker than that of iOS and the iPhone. On top of that, All those people who bought a smartphone the past six months are people who will not buy an iPhone any time soon, Verizon or no; contracts, contracts, contracts.

Still, let's not underestimate the importance of profit per device (the iPhone is clearly king here), or that of the iPod Touch and the iPad. iOS is a pretty healthy platform, and it will take more than Android devices outselling the iPhone for it to truly be in trouble.

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