Android, IPhone Are Most Wanted Smartphones

Apple’s iPhone and devices that run on Google’s Android operating system have emerged as the most desired smartphones, according to research firm Nielsen.

The company found that women picked the iPhone as their most-desired handset, while men and smartphone buyers aged 35-to-54 preferred Android phones.

The survey also indicated that 35 percent of current smartphone owners plan to get an iPhone, while 28 percent of both consumers want to upgrade to an Android-based device on their next purchase.

Thirteen percent plan to get a Research in Motion’s BlackBerry phone, and only 6 percent anticipate getting a Microsoft Windows Phone 7 device.

Twenty-five percent of feature phone users were “not sure” what operating system they were going to buy next, compared with 13 percent of smartphone owners. Twenty-eight percent of consumers aged over 55 were unclear on their future choice of OS, but only 12 percent of the 18-to-24 age bracket was unsure which operating system they plan to get next.

The results indicate a growing dominance of Android and iPhone in the smartphone market, with both platforms gaining market share in the U.S. from other competitors.

Nielsen discovered Apple took a 28 percent share of the smartphone market, displacing former number one BlackBerry with 27 percent, while Android took 23 percent.

Android is clearly growing its presence in the smartphone market as more and more devices running the platform become available, but the consumer demand for Apple is still strong.

Apple, currently carried exclusively by AT&T, plans to start selling the iPhone at Verizon next year, which will open up the largest carrier in the U.S.

But the survey’s results are far from permanent, with the overall smartphone market itself growing. Three out of ten mobile phone owners now own a smartphone, according to Nielsen, an increase from 25 percent in the second quarter and 28 percent in the third quarter.

And with seven out of ten mobile phone owners still open as prospective smartphone customers, the smartphone market is still wide open.

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