The Nielsen Company released its monthly survey of U.S. smartphone consumers today to reveal a change in the playing field: Android is now the most desired OS in America.

The survey of consumers planning on buying a smartphone in the next year, conducted from January through March of 2011, reveals that 31 percent of those surveyed plan on purchasing an Android device, up from the 26 percent counted in the July-August 2010 survey. This overtakes Apple’s iOS as the weapon of choice, which 30 percent of those surveyed plan on buying, down from 31 percent last summer. [Nielsen]

Among recent buyers surveyed in March, Android is king, maintaining 50 percent of the market share, overshadowing the 25 percent held by iOS and the 15 percent held by RIM. Total market share data among all consumers reveals Android in a sizeable lead with 37 percent, with iOS coming in second at 27 percent.

What does it mean for Android? Well, for one, it looks like Android is growing faster than any other operating system, which bodes well for future sales. But will Android hit a ceiling? Data reveals steady growth without much of slowdown like we’ve seen with iOS, which is great news for Google and its mobile partners. [The Nielsen Company]


Reader comments

Nielsen: Android is America's most desired platform


You have that right. They are simply in denial about this issue, and trot out all sorts of goofie studies which don't even deal with the same issue.

My favorite is that IOS leads in sales.
But only if sales are measured in terms of revenue rather than units.

They seem not to notice that their own evidence shows they have been over paying for their devices for years.

Well I find it funny when "goofy" studies come out showing a 1% lead with Android and everyone thinks the Apocalypse has hit Apple. :)

you probably should read the whole article. that 1% you speak of is a poll of desirability. the article also includes current sales rate numbers and total market share numbers.

We have both the N1 (T-Mob) and iPhone 4 (Verizon) here as company cell phones. Both platforms have their strengths and weaknesses - N1 has the swappable battery, great Google apps and integration, has been a bit flaky with Froyo which seems to have improved with Gingerbread, although battery life seems to have diminished as a tradeoff. (As a precaution, no rooting until the warranty is up.) The N1 of course has its hardware peculiarities such as the meh touchscreen and capacitive buttons.

iOS has a much better selection of vertical market apps (medical), and for free.

apple is now regretting their exclusivity with at&t for so long. if they wanna come back they need to be available on all the major carriers and they should be looking to expand to different form factors. Too bad for them android beat them at their own game =)

I can't understand why Apple hasn't at least rolled out a T-Mobile version yet. That should have been even easier than Verizon's CDMA version. Jobs is dead-set against physical KBs but they could at least offer a larger 4" screen iPhone. Android wins because they offer a variety of sizes and form factors.Something for everyone.

Strange how my wife is DEAD SET on a physical KB. I think Apple makes great products, but I still don't understand how Jobs and Co. can be so arrogant to think that they know how each person should use a device. She is still on the OG Droid waiting for a good replacement with a solid KB.

the droid 2 global keyboard is amazing! I have the regular droid 2 and I hate knowing that if I just waited a few months I would've had a 1.2 ghz processor and that sweeeet keyboard. play with one of the demo models at a vzw store but make sure it's a d2g not a d2 posing as one. she will love it.

Earlier it would have made sense...however, at this point in the game, it would be stupid to bring the device to T-Mobile when a merge is in the works.

The next iPhone coming this year is expected to be a GSM/CDMA version for both VZW and AT&T with a larger screen. Of course, rumors are circulating that next year, Apple might release a few variants of the iPhone...keyboard, keyboardless, and some cheaper value version. Who knows though.

This is unrelated to the content of the article, but the author of this article and I have the same last name. That's cool.

Apple has run this game for a while but I am hoping that those who are producing Android phones don't get lazy and stop being innovative. This kind of study should be a wake up call to Apple, but I am hoping the guys on our side use this chance to step up and kick Apple while they're going down.

Not sure a 1% lead is a wake-up call, but I'm sure all companies are looking at these numbers with interest.

The 1% lead is not the wake-up call. It's the fact that Android increased 5% from Jul '10 - Sep'10 to Jan '11 - Mar '11, while iOS fell 3% during that same period. Based on those numbers, it appears as though iOS is headed in the wrong direction.

I wouldn't say it's headed in the wrong direction, it's just headed in a better direction. Quantity vs quality. Just because there is a greater marketshare of Android devices, doesn't mean the quality is there. The market can easily get spammed with mediocrity and cheap Chinese knockoffs. You can easily get too many hands in the cookie jar. I think in the long-run that can be Android's Achilles.

What I hope is that this gets more and better developers interested in Android so that the apps continue to get better. I can't wait for the time when apps come to Android FIRST! :)

I sort of agree with what others have said. If it wasn't for the ATT agreement imagine how many people would be using iPhones right now. I can't believe Apple made enough money to make up for pretty much the loss of market share forever now. It is the only reason me, my wife and at least 4 of my friends never bought an iPhone and are now on Android. Who knows. If I had gotten used to iOS on Sprint I probably wouldn't have felt the need to switch.

The same thing happened to me. I'm on T-Mobile. I wanted the first iPhone badly when it came out. By the time that I could think about switching over to AT&T, the newness of the iPhone had worn off on me and I became receptive to Android. Now, I'm glad I didn't get locked into the iMadness.

All poor Apple fanboys who said that Android was going going so well because it was not on Verizon. Seems to prove that is not the case because clearly it is the one most people want.

So Android is currently outselling iOS 2 to 1? With numbers like these, a single Phone manufacturer will take the lead over Apple eventually and the iOS fanboys won't have that crutch to stand on anymore.

Could very well be. Samsung sold over 10 million units of the Galaxy s world wide. We'll see if Galaxy S II has similar success. I think last year was a big year in new Android users, like me :D, but there is still a whole lotta market share out there for the taking.

With hTc releasing a huge slew of low-high end phones this year, all esthetically pleasing, they should see significant sales increases one would think.

No matter what though, as long as these companies continue to drive each other and provide consumers with a good variety of choice we end users should be happy. I am. Can't wait for upgrade in 2012, SGS III?

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