Blog Post

Nielsen: Android, Apple And RIM Are In A Three-Way Tie In The U.S.

Some stats released today on smartphones that, for a change, don’t concern the number of devices shipped: Nielsen says 31 percent of U.S. consumers now have a smartphone, but penetration is significantly higher among certain racial groups. And while Android devices, iPhones and BlackBerries are still selling well, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7, Nokia/Symbian and Palm (NSDQ: PALM) devices are emphatically not — with these three accounting together for only eleven percent of smartphone purchases in the last six months.

According to Nielsen, among Hispanics and Asians/Pacific Islanders, penetration is 45 percent, and African Americans have a 33 percent penetration. Meanwhile, the penetration is lower than average among Whites/non-Hispanics, at just 27 percent.

And while analysts have found that Android is gaining a lot of ground — and some say now dominating — among smartphone OS’s that are getting shipped, Nielsen says that when it comes to actual users, it is, in fact, a three-way tie between Android, iPhones and RIM.

But, Nielsen notes that this is changing. Among consumers that have purchased a smartphone in the last six months, 43 percent chose an Android device, 26 percent chose iPhones and 20 percent chose RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) devices.

Adding those three up, though, would leave just 11 percent for all the other devices, such as the Palm Pre, handsets running Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7, and Nokia (NYSE: NOK) devices running Symbain. A very dismal picture for the rest of the smartphone market indeed.