iPhone's iOS edges Android as preferred smartphone OS

iPhone and BlackBerry in dead heat for U.S. market share, says Nielsen

Apple's iPhone and Research in Motion's BlackBerry are in a dead heat for U.S. smartphone ownership honors, Nielsen said today.

But the iPhone's iOS was the clear winner when American smartphone owners were asked which mobile operating system they'd pick for their next device, the measurement company added.

Of the nearly 30 per cent of mobile subscribers who own a smartphone, 27.9 per cent said they had an iPhone, while 27.4 per cent said they used a BlackBerry from RIM, a too-close-to-call race that Nielsen dubbed a "statistical dead heat."

Google's Android operating system powers the phones of 22.7 per cent of smartphone owners, while Microsoft's mobile OS -- the latest is Windows Phone 7, which has only recently started to appear on new handsets -- trails with 14 per cent.

However, Apple's iOS trounced RIM's operating system for the BlackBerry when smartphone owners likely to upgrade to a new phone were asked which OS they'd select. Nearly a third of U.S. mobile subscribers -- 30 per cent -- said they wanted iOS, while just 13 per cent said they'd choose BlackBerry.

Android snapped up second place with a strong 28 per cent vote from prospective smartphone upgraders.

"Apple's iPhone and devices with the Android operating system were the 'most desired' among likely smartphone upgraders, with Apple showing a slight lead among those ages 55 [and older], 18-24, and 25-34," said Nielsen in a post to its data-centric nielsenwire blog.

Android edged iOS in the 35-54 age bracket, however, by 27.4 per cent to 26.4 per cent.

Google's OS is the preferred pick by U.S. users who now own a so-called "feature" phone, the term now applied to non-smartphones. Feature phones make up the bulk of the current market, with seven out of 10 mobile subscribers still using one of the less-expensive, less-capable devices.

Although a quarter of feature phone owners planning to upgrade didn't know what smartphone operating system they want -- nearly twice the percentage of undecided smartphones users -- 28 per cent picked Android as their first choice, while 25 per cent pegged iOS. RIM was a distant third with 11 per cent.

Microsoft clearly has its work cut out, according to Nielsen, which said the surveys found that only five per cent of current smartphone owners would select a Windows-powered handset. Slightly more, or seven per cent, of feature phone owners said they would go with Microsoft's mobile operating system.

Nielsen's results differed from earlier estimates by technology research companies such as Gartner and IDC, which have said Android would end the year as the world's second-best-selling mobile operating system, behind Nokia's Symbian.

But while Gartner and IDC highlighted sales and drew their numbers from around the world, Nielsen's market share figures reflected only the U.S. installed base. There, the iPhone and its iOS have a two-year head start over Android smartphones, which began selling briskly only last year.

According to Gartner, Apple's iOS will finish 2010 as fourth in global sales.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags telecommunicationapplicationsMobile Apps and ServicesnielsenPhonesMobile operating systemsmobileAppleconsumer electronicsGoogleMicrosoftsmartphonesMobile OSesMacintoshsoftware

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?