iPhone Slips Past BlackBerry to Become No. 1 Smartphone, Android Not Far Behind

smartphones on Olympic medal podium

RIM’s monopoly on email-addicted professionals and government contracts could bolster the BlackBerry’s popularity only for so long. According to a new report by Nielsen, the Apple iPhone has finally passed its main competitor in U.S. smartphone market share.

Though Nielsen acknowledges the two companies are in a “statistical dead heat,” data collected from October shows the iPhone now reaching 27.9% of the market, with BlackBerry at 27.4%, based on OS usage. (Interestingly, a different report out today showed RIM still leads Apple in terms of mobile usage.) The Android is not far behind at 22%, and Nielsen’s research suggests it, along with the iPhone, could soon surge past RIM in market share.

When it came to what smartphone OS consumers most desired to purchase next, Android and Apple’s iOS topped the charts. Among current smartphone owners, 35% of consumers were looking at the iOS, compared with 28% for Android; however, those upgrading from non-smartphones desired Android to Apple by a margin of 28% to 25%.

BlackBerry lags behind both competitors, and Microsoft’s shiny new mobile platform has yet to capture the market’s attention, regardless of age or gender.

[Photo by Andrew Hur]AC