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Googles Android Sees Staggering Uptake in U.S., Beats Apple, RIM

Googles Android mobile operating system is seriously challenging Apples iOS market share.

In the third quarter, Android was installed in 44 percent of all smartphones purchased in 2010s third quarter, according to new stats from research firm NPD Group. The figure marked an 11 percentage-point increase over the second quarter.

Apple iOS, meanwhile, held steady over the past two quarters, rising just one percentage point to 23 percent. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, on the other, watched its OS share fall to third place, down to 22 percent from 28 percent, NPD Group said.

“Much of Android’s quarterly share growth came at the expense of RIM, rather than Apple,” Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, said in a press release. “The HTC EVO 4G, Motorola Droid X, and other new high-end Android devices have been gaining momentum at carriers that traditionally have been strong RIM distributors, and the recent introduction of the BlackBerry Torch has done little to stem the tide.”

Yet when comparing OS unit share from the third quarters of this year and last, the declines for RIM and Apple are pretty staggering. NPD Group found that RIMs OS share fell by 53 percent, while Apples iOS dropped 21 percent.

“There has not been much share left to grab from the other operating systems,” Rubin said. “The iPhone has held its own at AT&T, but Apple faces challenges in further expanding its domestic market share, while still retaining exclusivity.”

NPD Group said, based on U.S. consumers adoption of mobile phones in the three months ended Sept. 30, four of the top five handset models were smartphones:

  • Apple iPhone 4
  • BlackBerry Curve 8500 series
  • LG Cosmos (messaging phone)
  • Motorola Droid X
  • HTC EVO 4G

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