Android adoption accelerates, says Nielsen

Google's Android mobile operating system is still steadily expanding its share of the U.S. smartphone market, as industry watcher Nielsen reports that 43% of American smartphone subscribers use Android-based devices.

Android's market share has received a boost from recent adopters as 56% of users who reported buying a new smartphone in the past three months said they got an Android device. By comparison, 28% reported purchasing an Apple iPhone while just 9% of recent smartphone buyers reported purchasing one of Research in Motion's BlackBerry devices. Don Kellogg, Nielsen's director of telecom research and insights, writes that the iPhone should see an uptick in new adopters once it releases its iPhone 5 (or whatever the phone is called) next month as "every time Apple launches a new iPhone or makes it available on a new wireless carrier, there is an increase in sales."

BY THE NUMBERS: Android market share nears 50% worldwide

In terms of overall market share, the iPhone trails Android-based devices with a 28% share followed by BlackBerry with an 18% share. A Nielsen report from July this year had Android as the top mobile operating system in the country with a 39% market share, followed by Apple at 28% and BlackBerry at 20%.

Android's rise as the dominant mobile operating system in the U.S. has been mirrored by its rise as the top mobile OS throughout the world. Research firm Canalys last month released data showing that Android-based phones accounted for 48% of all smartphones shipped in the second quarter. The 51.9 million Android phone shipments reported by Canalys that quarter represented a nearly fivefold increase from the number of Android phones shipped in the second quarter of 2010, and Android was the top mobile operating system in 35 of the 56 countries that Canalys analyzed.

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