Smartphones: Android Surpasses iPhone

More people are choosing Android smartphones over Apple, according to a new survey released today

Thirty-one percent of 13,070 respondents in March 2011 said they were likely going to buy an Android versus 30 percent who said they were probably going with an iPhone, according to a release from Nielsen Co. While those numbers are very close, six months ago those thinking of buying an iPhone was 33 percent and those ruminating on Android was only 26 percent. Apple lost admirers while Android made a modest gain.

In another survey,the research firm also polled 2,809 "recent acquirers" or people who bought a smartphone within the last six months -- and 50 percent bought Android. Half of that number bought iPhones, and the other 25 percent were divided between BlackBerry (15 percent), Windows Phone 7 (7 percent), WebOS (2 percent) and Symbian (1 percent.)

Right now Android has 37 percent of the smartphone market share while Apple has 27 percent. BlackBerry is still holding onto third at 22 percent. While Nielsen's Elizabeth Luke said that Android has really "taken off" in the last year, Android's first-place position is based on a number of different factors including dozens of models that fit individual needs, a well-known open operating system and several  manufacturers churning out product.

In comparison, Apple has really on one product -- the iPhone, which is not as widely distributed as an average Android phone (although Apple's working on it.)

At this point, Android could be called the smartphone of the masses -- except smartphones still only account for about 21 percent of use across the globe.

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