Android continued its meteoric rise over the holiday season, according to The Nielsen Company, overtaking both the BlackBerry OS and Apple’s iOS to capture the most US smartphone market share. Nielsen’s numbers have Android at 29% share over the period November 2010 through January 2011, with both Apple and RIM tied at 27%. The company’s October 2010 survey showed iOS with a slight lead over BlackBerry — 27.9% to 27.4% — and Android in third with 22.7% share. However, results from January through August of last year clearly suggested that Android penetration was the rise at the expense of its main two competitors: at the beginning of 2011, RIM held a healthy 36% market share, compared to 29% for Apple and just 8% for all Android OEMs.
Nielsen’s latest report shows Windows Phone with 10% US smartphone share, webOS with 4%, and never-domestically-popular Symbian with 2%.
When it comes to manufacturers, HTC can apparently boast of the most sellthrough in both the Android and Windows Phones categories, with Motorola its biggest rival for Android handset share, and Samsung trailing on the Windows side. It should be noted that although Android’s rise is pretty much unquestioned, these exact numbers are certainly open to interpretation; last November, for instance, a November NPD report showed Android already had an overwhelming 44% smartphone share in Q3 2010, with RIM and Apple in the low 20’s.