This is the first time iPhone slips in the second place in consumers' smartphone choices. Nielsen's monthly surveys of U.S. mobile consumers from July-September 2010 had shown that consumers planning on getting a new smartphone had a clear preference: A third (33%) wanted an Apple iPhone. Slightly more than a quarter (26%) had said they desired a device with the Google Android operating system (OS). And 13 percent said they wanted a RIM Blackberry.
The new dynamics are already translating into sales, Nielsen said. Half of those surveyed in March 2011 who indicated they had purchased a smartphone in the past six months said they had chosen an Android device. A quarter of recent acquirers said they bought an iPhone and 15 percent said they had picked a Blackberry phone.
Which brings us to the installed base of smartphone consumers: As of March 2011, 37 percent of mobile consumers who owned a smartphone had a device with an Android OS. Apple's iOS, claimed by 27 percent of consumers, is now outpacing Blackberry, which has 22 percent of the market.