Friday, July 1, 2011

Android Leads as Smartphone Use Grows in U.S.

A new Nielsen survey released Thursday indicates that 38 percent of all U.S. mobile Relevant Products/Services consumers now own smartphones. Of those, 55 percent are recent handset purchasers who selected a smartphone Relevant Products/Services. By contrast, only 28 percent of U.S. mobile consumers were equipped with smartphones in the third quarter of last year -- when 41 percent of recent buyers said they had purchased a smartphone, according to the FCC.

Nielsen's survey also found that Android continued to be the most popular smartphone platform among U.S. consumers in May. Among those respondents who purchased a new smartphone in the past three months, Android was the U.S. market leader.

However, the growth of Google Relevant Products/Services's mobile platform remained flat at 38 percent during May in comparison with survey results from previous months. By contrast, the popularity of Apple's iPhone rose six percentage points over the last three months to 27 percent, according to Nielsen.

Awaiting Mango

Apple's recent U.S. market gains have come primarily at the expense of Research In Motion. According to Nielsen, BlackBerry handsets accounted for 21 percent of the total number of smartphones owned by U.S. customers in May.

Surprisingly, Microsoft's old Windows Relevant Products/Services Mobile platform still accounts for nine percent of all U.S. smartphone owners. By contrast, the software giant's new Windows Phone 7 platform only represented one percent of all U.S. smartphone users, according to Nielsen.

Windows Phone 7 hasn't seen any uptick in growth over the past three months. Some industry observers believe many potential buyers are waiting for Mango -- the next-generation mobile OS that Microsoft has promised to release this autumn.

Still, IDC recently predicted that if all goes smoothly with Nokia's transition to Mango, the Windows Phone 7 platform could attain a 20 percent global market share in 2015. "Windows Phone 7 will benefit from Nokia's support, scope and breadth within markets where Nokia has historically had a strong presence," the firm's analysts said.

Mobile Apps and Brand Loyalty

Now that more U.S. consumers are using smartphones, mobile apps Relevant Products/Services are becoming of greater importance. According to another Nielsen survey released earlier this month, app usage now accounts for 56 percent of all user activity on Android smartphones. By contrast 19 percent of user activity is devoted to e-mail, while 15 percent involves telephone calls, and only nine percent of user activity is browsing the web, on average. (continued...)

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