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Android Most Popular Smartphone Operating System in U.S. Among New Users

New data from The Nielsen Company shows that Google’s Android mobile operating system is now the most popular OS among those who bought a new smartphone in the U.S. during the last six months, with a 32% share of recent acquirers.

Blackberry and Apple are meanwhile tied for second place, in a “statistical dead heat,” says Nielsen.

Nielsen analyzed data from smartphone sales from January of this year through August to arrive at its conclusions. Among new smartphone purchasers, the Android OS is being adopted by 32% of handset buyers, while RIM (makers of Blackberry smartphones) and Apple are tied for second with 26% and 25% of new users, respectively.

However, among all smartphone owners, RIM is still number one here in the U.S., but Nielsen notes its lead over the Apple iPhone (number 2) is now declining. In this group, RIM has 31% market share, Apple has 28% and Android has just 19%.

This data is interesting given earlier reports from analysts at Gartner who forecasted that Android would become the number one operating system in the U.S. by the end of 2010 and could steal the number one spot from Symbian in global market share by 2014.

While the 2014 prediction is far enough off to inspire some doubts – a lot can change in just a few years in this industry – the end of the year is only months away. If Nielsen’s data is accurate, Android is indeed growing fast. But will it reach number one in the U.S. with less than three months to go? That’s still up for debate, it seems.

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