Apple Edges Out Research in Motion in U.S. Smartphone Market Share

115628 nielsen us smartphone share oct10 500

Research firm Nielsen today published a report outlining the results of its survey of U.S. smartphone users for October 2010, finding that Apple has finally caught up to Research in Motion in market share, with the two companies finishing in a "statistical dead heat" with Apple's iPhone claiming 27.9% of the market and Research in Motion's BlackBerry line grabbing 27.4%. Google's rapidly-growing Android operating system claimed 22.7% of the market.

While Apple outsold Research in Motion last quarter on a global basis (14.1 million vs. 12.4 million) and other reports had suggested similar results for the U.S. alone, Nielsen's study notably focuses on installed user base rather than new sales.

Nielsen's report also offers a look at future smartphone purchasing plans across several demographic divisions, finding that the iPhone (30%) nudges out Android (28%) as the most desired smartphone among those likely to purchase a new device, with the iPhone leading among current smartphone owners and Android leading among users currently on featurephones who are seeking to upgrade to smartphones.

115628 nielsen smartphone by age 500

Broken down by age, the iPhone leads Android as "most desired" in all age brackets except the 35-54 range, with users in the 35+ brackets markedly less certain about their most desired smartphone operating system than younger users. Finally, the study finds that female users lean relatively strongly toward the iPhone over Android as their most desired smartphone (30.9% vs. 22.8%), while male users prefer Android by a 32.6%-28.6% margin.

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