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Nielsen: Smartphones Outselling Featurephones, iPhone Leading The Charge

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Looks like we have again reached a tipping point of sorts in the mobile market in the U.S. The analysts at Nielsen report that in May, smartphones for the first time started to outsell feature phones, at a ratio of 55 percent to 45 percent. And although all the talk for the last several months has been about the rise of Android, Nielsen says that Apple’s iPhone was driving the trend.

In fact, it pointed out in a blog post today that in the last month, Android sales had flattened out compared to its previous several months of steady increase. Nielsen says Android stayed steady at 27 percent of all purchases, compared to Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) — which went up to 17 percent from 10 percent.

This contrasts by some degree with the numbers put out by Google (NSDQ: GOOG) itself. Earlier this week, Andy Rubin tweeted that Android was currently seeing 500,000 activations every month, and was growing at a rate of 4.4 percent. That figure presumably includes smartphones as well as tablets.

Nielsen notes that currently 38 percent of the U.S. market owns smartphones, and that 38 percent happens to also be the share that is going to the Android OS, which retained its position as the most-popular platform. The tables are below.