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Android continues to dominate US smartphone market

Android phones are dominating the US smartphone market, with 43 percent of all smartphone owners opting for a device that runs Google’s mobile operating system. And according to the latest survey by market research firm Nielsen, that dominance is set to continue, with 56 percent of new smartphone owners opting for an Android device in the three months ending in August.

Apple’s iOS is in second place with 28 percent of the US smartphone market, followed by BlackBerry with 18 percent. Smartphones running other operating systems, including Windows Phone 7 and Nokia’s Symbian, accounted for the other 11 percent of the market.

The survey is likely to be the last by Nielsen before the introduction of Apple’s iPhone 5, now rumored to arrive in early October. As Nielsen points out, there is an army of Android phones competing against just two commonly available versions of the iPhone, and Nielsen expects a swing back towards iOS once the new model becomes available.

However, the news is not so good for RIM, maker of BlackBerry devices. There has been a steady stream of new BlackBerry models over the past year but only 9 percent of buyers opted for a BlackBerry when it was time to choose a new smartphone.

In further analyzing the numbers, it’s clear that Android smartphone manufacturers are also benefitting from a significant price advantage. With the cheapest iPhone 4 starting at $199, there is no iOS model that can compete with the many low-priced Android phones. This has led to speculation that Apple could announce two iPhones in October – one regular model, and a slightly less powerful model at a discounted price.

Whatever happens with the iPhone, the smartphone wars are from over. Not only are existing smartphone owners looking for replacements, but millions of consumers with so-called “feature” phones are happily seeing their contracts expire and are opting to join the smartphone revolution instead.



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