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Nielsen Survey: Apple Slips In Desire Stakes To Android

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More on the trend of users tipping over to Android devices in the U.S., with smartphones built on Google’s OS not only accounting for the most devices sold in last month, but the OS ranking as the most-wanted platform by those looking to buy a smartphone soon.

The figures come from the most recent monthly survey from Nielsen, and point to trends that we’ve already been witnessing in the last several months and pointed out by other researchers and analysts such as IDC, Gartner and even ad networks like Millennial Media.

Nielsen’s graphic on next-desired OS indicates that the last three months, January-March, have seen a distinct swing away from Apple’s iOS and towards Android, which have swapped leading positions compared to October-December of last year: while Android has jumped up five percentage points, Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has dropped by one, making the margin even narrower than before. In fact, every other platform besides Android slipped in desirability. The only other gainer? Those who are “not sure” what they want next:

The numbers are based on what people want in the future, but it looks like this is already being played out at the moment. When you look at actual purchases, Android is much further ahead of Apple than just one percent: it accounted for half of all of recent purchases of smartphones, compared to iOS’s 25 percet:

Android now accounts for 37 percent of the installed base of smartphones, says the company, with Apple at 27 percent and RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) at 22 percent.

Ultimately, Android’s top position is most of all a win for Google (NSDQ: GOOG), which can use that scale as leverage for all kinds of services that it offers. The many OEMs developing Android-based devices still have to duke it out when it comes to getting significant market share and differentiation from each other.

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