Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

U.S. Smartphone Race Still a Three-Way Contest, but RIM Is Fading as Android Gains

The latest Nielsen figures on consumer smartphone market share will give all of the leaders something to crow about.

Apple can tout that it remains in the lead in the U.S. market with more than 28 percent share as of November. Android, meanwhile, continues to gain and now has 25.8 percent of the market.

RIM has been losing share, but remains in second place with 26.1 percent and is still in a statistical tie with the other two given that Apple’s lead is within the survey’s margin of error.

But those numbers tell only part of the story, since they focus on what phones are currently out in the market overall. More indicative of the future (and less rosy for RIM) are the stats on recent phone purchasers.

Those figures show Android attracting more than 40 percent of new smartphone buyers, with 26.9 percent opting for an iPhone and 19.2 percent choosing a BlackBerry. Consider how that has changed since June 2010, when BlackBerry was garnering 35 percent of new smartphone buyers and Android accounted for 27.5 percent.

Also of note were findings released by Nielsen last month that showed Android more popular among men and Apple’s iOS more popular among women.

The good news for all involved is that proverbial rising tide is lifting all the top smartphone boats. In November, 45 percent of recent phone buyers chose a smartphone over a feature phone, Nielsen said. In June 2010, only
slightly more than a third of phone buyers scooped up a smartphone.

In all, smartphones now account for 31 percent of the consumer market, as compared to 24 percent as of last June, Nielsen said.

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