Android continues to grow, but Apple remains a favorite when it comes to hardware. According to research released today from NPD Group, Google’s Android operating system significantly grew its lead in the U.S. consumer smartphone market in the third quarter.
Android’s OS was installed in 44 percent of all smartphones purchased in Q3, an increase of 11 percentage points since the second quarter. Apple iOS held relatively steady versus last quarter, rising 1 percentage point to 23 percent and the Research In Motion (RIM) OS fell to third position, declining from 28 percent to 22 percent.
NPD’s third-quarter numbers were in line with IDC’s numbers, which were released last Friday.
“Much of Android’s quarterly share growth came at the expense of RIM, rather than Apple,” said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, in a statement. “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.”
Apple has the most popular handset in the U.S. According NPD’s research, four of the top five handset models were smartphones. Apple’s iPhone was the top handset overall for the third quarter, followed by the BlackBerry Curve 8500 series, the LG Cosmos (messaging phone), the Motorola Droid X and in the fifth spot, the HTC EVO 4G.
Other research released today from Canalys arrived at similar conclusions. Canalys put Android growth on the global OS market up 1,309 percent year-on-year from 1.4 million in the third quarter of 2009 to more than 20.0 million units in third quarter of 2010.
“Android has been well received by the market and in some geographies it is becoming a sought-after consumer brand..Vendors are now delivering Android devices across a broad range of price points, from high-end products such as the Samsung Galaxy S or HTC Desire, to aggressively priced devices such as the LG GT540 Optimus or the Huawei built Vodafone 845, ensuring that Android devices are available and affordable to consumers on almost any budget,” said Canalys Senior Analyst Pete Cunningham in a statement.