Android Sales Exceed iPhone But Not BlackBerry In Q1

It seemed like it would be only a matter of time before a dozen or so Android-based smartphones would outsell Apple’s one and only iPhone.

Indeed, it happened in the first three months of the year, says The NPD Group, which conducts wireless market research. Google’s open-source operating system, which includes phones like the Hero, Incredible, Nexus One and the Flip, accounted for 28 percent of all sales. RIM’s BlackBerry remained in first at 36 percent, and Apple’s OS fell to third at 21 percent.

Android’s move up the rankings is due in part to carrier promotions. According to NPD, smartphone sales at AT&T (NYSE: T) comprised nearly a third of the entire smartphone market (32 percent), followed by Verizon Wireless (30 percent), T-Mobile (17 percent) and Sprint (NYSE: S) (15 percent). In particular the results were driven by strong sales of the Motorola (NYSE: MOT) Droid, the HTC Droid Eris, and Blackberry Curve via promotions like Verizon’s buy-one-smartphone-get another free.

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