Nielsen: Smartphones Now 46%, iPhone "Closing the Gap"

Yesterday I discussed a Yankee Group survey (n=15,000) showing 47% of US adults now have smartphones (Android 39%, iPhone 25%). This morning Nielsen released data nearly matching that figure, reflecting 46% of mobile subscribers in the US own smartphones as of Q4. However, Nielsen says, Q4 iPhone sales have "closed the gap" somewhat with Android among recent buyers: 

Among recent acquirers, meaning those who said they got a new device within the past three months, 44.5 percent of those surveyed in December said they chose an iPhone, compared to just 25.1 percent in October. Furthermore, 57 percent of new iPhone owners surveyed in December said they got an iPhone 4S.

Nielsen adds that 60% of recent handset buyers are increasingly picking up smartphones. Of concern to Microsoft, RIM and Nokia their relative shares are tiny. RIM's is less than 5% among recent buyers. 

Nielsen says among recent acquirers Android still holds a lead but that the iPhone is within 2% points of a tie (chart below). This is a reversal of earlier trends wherein Android seemed to be pulling away. We'll see what the next comScore data release shows. 

smartphone-recent

Overall Android still leads the iPhone 46% to 30% in the US, while RIM has 15% of the market. 

smartphone-os-share