Mobile

Android gets the OS headlines, but the iPhone is the most popular smartphone

iPhone 4 opening day

iPhone 4 opening dayGoogle’s Android OS is (not surprisingly) still on top when it comes to smartphone market share in the U.S., according to a new Nielson report.

The report says Android now has 39 percent of the smartphone-OS market, with Apple’s iOS at 28 percent and RIM’s BlackBerry at 20 percent. Windows Mobile/Windows Phone 7 holds 9 percent, while webOS and Symbian both have 2 percent.

While Android dominates the number of units sold in the U.S., Apple’s 28 percent of the market is an incredible feat. Individual Android manufacturers can’t hold a candle to that, with HTC at 14 percent, Motorola at 11 percent and Samsung at 8 percent.

“Because Apple is the only company manufacturing smartphones with the iOS operating system, it is clearly the top smartphone manufacturer in the United States,” Nielson said.

Take a look at Nielson’s full Q2 breakdown by market share:

Independent research firm ChangeWave released a wide-ranging customer survey last week that showed American consumers easily preferred iOS over Android. 46 of respondents wanted iOS while 32 percent wanted Android. A paltry 4 percent preferred RIM’s BlackBerry.

Android’s crazy growth in the U.S. market is notable but no singular Android device is comparable to the iPhone. Carriers often offer less-expensive (or free) Android phones with contracts, which attract consumers that don’t want to pay iPhone-level prices. Although AT&T has the iPhone 3GS for $49, consumers know a new iPhone model is around the corner. Several analysts have suggested a less-expensive iPhone model is on the way too, and that could help the iPhone reach even more customers.

If you had to buy a new phone today, would you choose an iPhone or an top-shelf Android device?


Mobile developer or publisher? VentureBeat is studying mobile marketing automation. Fill out our 5-minute survey, and we'll share the data with you.