Android dominates U.S. smartphone OS market

According to June date from Nielsen, Android(despite mounting legal challenges) has claimed the top spot in the U.S. smartphone OS market. Figures have it as:

1.    Google Android comprising 39% of the market, i.e on about four out of every 10 smartphones sold in the U.S.
2.    Apple iOS a distant second at 28%,
3.    RIM BlackBerry OS, dragging its feet at 20%,
4.    Windows Phone 7 at 9% and
5.    HP WebOS and Symbian (both at 2%).
This should not surprise Nokia owners, given what seems like the gloomy lack of Nokia smartphones in US.

Few interesting tidbits:
  • Android moved up to 39% from 29% between November and January, a rise that has come at the expense of BlackBerry, which fell from 27% to 20% over the same period.
  • Apple’s iOS has grown 1% since November to January period. Meanwhile, Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile lost a point over the same period, falling from 10 to 9 percent.

Simply put, that’s a reflection of the fact that Apple is the only outfit churning out iOS devices, whereas a bevy of companies led by HTC, Motorola, and Samsung have helped make Android the dominant OS in US.

On the hardware front, Apple takes the title of top manufacturer. RIM finds itself tied with HTC for manufacturing 20% of the smartphones. However, splitting up Android, HTC leads among Android manufacturers at 14%, trailed by Motorola at 11% and Samsung at 8%.  Others (LG, Sony Ericsson, Dell, Acer, Huawei, etc) get lumped together at 6%.

It’s interesting to see the list of top Android manufacturers because it’s composed of exactly the companies Apple is pursuing legally for patent infringement. The leaderboard could change significantly if Apple succeeds with its claims. Analyst Toni Sacconaghi of Sanford Bernstein wrote that Apple is looking to “upend” Android’s momentum. And if it prevails and forces Android makers to undertake costly or difficult workarounds, it could help pump up Apple’s market share by up to 10%.

These results are all well and good, but they come right on the cusp of change. IDC has put out some big projections that have Android and Windows Phone 7 on top by 2015. But we will see how the legal battles play out, what kind of real oomph the fading Nokia brings to Windows Phone 7, and what kind of turnaround BlackBerry can muster. Also, next few months will be interesting to see how the landscape changes once iPhone 4S/5 and Galaxy S II line are released.

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