Nielsen: Smartphones 40% of Handsets, Android in High Demand

According to new data from Nielsen, smartphones now represent 40% of handsets in the US (comScore says it's 35%). Among those smartphones the market share ranking by operating system is as follows: 

  • Android -- 40%
  • iPhone -- 28%
  • RIM -- 19% 
  • Windows Mobile --7% (Windows Phone -- 1%)
  • Other (WebOS, Symbian, etc.) -- 5%

smartphone-marketshare

Here are the most recent comparable numbers from comScore:

What's perhaps more interesting is how demand for Android devices is now roughly equivalent to Apple's iPhone, according to Nielsen: 

 smartphone-late-adopters

Here are the blended averages from the data above regarding smartphone-buyer demand for the various operating systems:

  • Android -- 35.6%
  • iPhone -- 31.4%
  • RIM -- 7.8% 
  • Windows -- 5.4%
  • Other (WebOS, Symbian, etc.) -- 2.2%
  • Not sure -- 17%

As you can see from the chart above there are lots of undecideds among the late majority and late adopters. RIM's current share is about 20%. But to what degree are these figures predictive of future market share? If they are, they don't bode well for RIM.

As always in these iPhone vs. Android surveys I wonder if people are truly interested in "Android" devices per se or whether they're responding to particular handset models (e.g., Samsung Galaxy, Motorola Droid). 

At one point last year Nielsen predicted that we'd cross the 50% smartphone threshold by Q4 of this year. It looks more like that will happen in Q2 next year. At 50% we'd have more than 100 million smartphone users in the US.