Android leads RIM, iPhone in US sales, Nielsen says

Android grabbed the top spot in market share among smart phones sold in the past six months ending in August, data from Nielsen released on Tuesday showed. The platform made up 32 percent of all sales in the month, outpacing Apple, who made up 26 percent of sales, and RIM, which had 25 percent.

RIM had held a sizable lead in the survey until June, staying in a range of 31 to 37 percent of the market since January. However, Android had either increased or maintained its share in every month, unlike Apple, who generally fell during the year. Apple's only saving grace was the release of the iPhone 4, it appears.

1,744 recent acquirers were polled for the study. The data seems to confirm findings by ChangeWave announced last month which indicates consumers are increasingly finding Android devices more "desirable."

Overall, RIM still held the top spot in market share with 31 percent of the market, followed by Apple with 28 percent. Android devices made up 19 percent of the market in August, data showed. This portion of the study consisted of 3,563 respondents that owned a smartphone between January and August 2010.

For those watching the horserace between Apple and Google, it's clear the latter has the upper hand. Android phones have likely been outselling the iPhone since at least April if the data is to believe, and likely before since the survey takes into account sales in the past six previous months.

Even so, the iPhone on its own remains the most popular smartphone model: it far outsells any single BlackBerry or Android device.

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