As a surprise to no one, a recent study found that Google's Android smartphone platform is the fastest-growing operating system in the U.S. The growth rate of Android is topping even the still-popular Research in Motion (News - Alert) BlackBerry OS and Apple's iOS. The results were released on Friday by research group ComScore.
Though Android still stands in third place in popularity compared to BlackBerry and iPhone (News - Alert), the Google OS subscriber base grew by 6.5 percentage points in the last three months alone. Apple's iPhone user base grew more modestly, and bad news for RIM, the number of BlackBerry (News - Alert) subscribers fell by 3.5 percentage points. BlackBerry had 35.8 percent of smart phone subscribers in October, a figure which was down from 39.3 percent in July. Apple's (News - Alert) new figure is 24.6 percent, up slightly from 23.8 percent in July. Google's growth was brisk, with 23.5 percent of smart phone subscribers, up from only 17 percent in July.
Both Microsoft and Palm saw declining rates, as well: Microsoft's share fell from 11.8 percent in July to 9.7 percent in October. Hewlett Packard's Palm OS had a 3.9 percent share of the market in October, which is down from its 4.9 percent figure in July.
To determine the growth rates, ComScore conducted a survey of 30,000 mobile phone subscribers.
Analysts are generally in agreement that if growth rates continue as expected, Android will be the second most popular smart phone OS in the world, ranked behind only Nokia's (News - Alert) Symbian OS.
Last week, research company Nielsen released the results of a survey on the popularity of U.S. smart phones, and the results were a little different. Though Nielsen found iPhone and RIM's BlackBerry neck and neck in first and second place, with Android showing up in third place, the study differed in reference to future buying plans.
Nielsen's survey asked phone users (both smartphone users and feature phone users planning to upgrade to a smartphone) which phone they planned to buy next, and the top result was Apple's iPhone.Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jaclyn Allard