Smartphones: A Majority of the Phones Sold in the United States

Smartphones: A Majority of the Phones Sold in the United States
If you're ready to buy a cell phone, chances are its going to be a "smart" one, according to Nielsen. According to its latest study of recent cell phone purchases, 55 percent of those sold in the three months ending in May were smartphones. This is a marked increase from just 34 percent in the same period a year ago.

No doubt much of the growth likely can be attributed to the moves by phone manufacturers to offer devices across a variety of price points. Whereas a year ago it was difficult to find a device under $200, these days it seems there are many more affordable options (even free) as long as you're signing a contract.

Android's wide reach is probably the reason for this, as it has increasingly been found on budget smartphones. That is the reason why Google's mobile operating system was able to log such quick growth.

Overall, 38 percent of smartphones run Android according to Nielsen, compared with 27 percent for iOS, and 21 percent for RIM's BlackBerry OS. Windows Mobile (not Windows Phone 7) still holds 9 percent of the market.

Even though Android rules the roost when it comes to budget smartphones, Apple is apparently not content to just sit on the sidelines. Since January the 3GS model has been available for $49, and anecdotally it is said to be selling better than most newer Android-based devices.

That--combined with the release of the iPhone 4 on Verizon--could be the reason why iOS has shown growth overall in 2011 according to Nielsen, while Android has so far remained flat.

Of the entire market (that's including feature phones), 27 percent of those phones sold in the three months ending in May were based on Android, the same percentage as the previous three-month period. iOS on the other hand was powering 17 percent of sold devices in May, up 7 percent from the previous period. RIM fell from 11 percent to 6 percent.

For more tech news and commentary, follow Ed on Twitter at @edoswald and on Facebook.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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