Nielsen just released their report on the U.S. smartphone market for the month of October, and boy are the results interesting. Of all of the cell phone owners in America, 29.7 percent of them are carrying a smartphone with them. That 29.7 percent is then broken down into the various smartphone platforms, with Apple's iOS barely edging out RIM to be the most popular platform, with 27.9 percent and 27.4 percent of the market, respectively. Not far behind those two is Android, claiming 22.7 percent of users, while Windows Mobile has 14 percent, Symbian has 3.4 percent, Linux has 3.3 percent, and webOS in last place with 1.3 percent.
That information is all well and good, but what about future device purchases? Well, when it comes to current smartphone owners, iOS is the most desired, with 35 percent of smartphone users claiming that they'd like an iPhone when it comes time to upgrade. Android is desired just about as much, though, with 28 percent of users fawning after Google's green robot. Fifteen percent of those surveyed want a BlackBerry next, and 13 percent just weren't sure what their next smartphone would be. When featurephone owners were asked which smartphone they'd be likely to buy, the results were largely the same, although Android edged out iOS with 28 percent and 25 percent, respectively. RIM finished in third once again, this time with 11 percent, while a full 25 percent of featurephone users were unsure where their smartphone allegiances would lie.
We've been seeing similar results for some time now, with the once-dominant RIM slowly losing share to iOS and Android. Still, I'm surprised to see that the BlackBerry has been dethroned as the top smartphone, although it wasn't beat out by much. With Android's continued growth and the possibility of an iPhone on Verizon looming, it'll be interesting to see where these numbers stand a year from now. Will the iPhone, boosted by a swarm of iOS-hungry Verizon customers, remain on top? Will a multitude of devices and updates propel Android to the No. 1 spot? Or will the PlayBook and QNX operating system help RIM regain it's former glory? It's tough to say. For all we know, Windows Phone 7 or webOS could come out on top. What do you all think the standings will look like in a year?