Android Sales Double-Up iPhone

The phenomenon that is the Android smartphone continues to get more popular, outselling its closest rival, Apple's iPhone, by a nearly two-to-one margin in the third quarter of this year, according to NPD.

NPD, a market research firm, reported that Android, Google's mobile operating system, was installed in 44 percent of all smartphones sold in the U.S. iPhone picked up a single percentage point from the previous quarter, with 23 percent of sales. That point, however, was enough to nudge Research in Motion's BlackBerry OS into third place, with 22 percent of sales.

That's bad news for RIM, said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, in the press release. "Much of Android's quarterly share growth came at the expense of RIM, rather than Apple. The HTC EVO 4G, Motorola Droid X, and other new high-end Android devices have been gaining momentum at carriers that traditionally have been strong RIM distributors, and the recent introduction of the BlackBerry Torch has done little to stem the tide."

It's a tide that's threatening to become a tidal wave that may drown much of the competition. Android's success is remarkable when one considers that just slightly more than a year ago, Android had captured less than two percent of the smartphone market.

That success is also likely part of the reason that Apple is opening up the iPhone to additional carriers, allegedly entering into a deal with Verizon to sell its phones sometime in 2011.

Another significant NPD finding is that smartphones are becoming the mobile phone of choice among U.S. consumers -- four out of the top five best-selling models were smartphones, according to the release:

  1. Apple iPhone 4 (smartphone)
  2. BlackBerry Curve 8500 series (smartphone)
  3. LG Cosmos (messaging phone)
  4. Motorola Droid X (smartphone)
  5. HTC EVO 4G (smartphone)

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.