Android usurps iPhone in market share

Android is now the number two smartphone operating system in market share behind BlackBerry, NPD Group's Wireless Market Research report said today. This is the first time Google's open mobile platform has passed Apple's iPhone OS in market share since it debuted in October 2008.

According to NPD's data, BlackBerry still leads the smartphone market with 36% penetration, followed by Android with 28% and then iPhone with 21%.

A major factor contributing to Android's growth was the debut of devices running the operating system on Verizon Wireless. The United States' number two wireless network operator actually had smartphone sales almost as high as market leader AT&T, NPD's data says, trailing by just 2%. And one Android device on Verizon, the Motorola Droid, has been leading the charge.

Mobile analytics company Flurry published a report in March which found that the Motorola Droid sold 1.05 million units in the first 74 days, faster than the original iPhone did at its launch. The success of the device has been linked to the timing of the launch --during the holiday buying season-- and the huge advertising push from Verizon, which ushered in the oft-repeated "Droid Does" slogan.

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