Step aside, BlackBerrys and iPhones, the American consumer has voted with his wallet and picked Android as his favorite flavor in the quarter just gone. NPD's number crunchers have just announced their findings for Q2 2010, concluding that 33 percent of phones sold during the period had Android on board. This marks the first time in eons (Q4 2007, to be more precise) that RIM has not held the crown of most purchased smartphone OS on US soil, with its BlackBerrys accounting for 28% of the market and Apple's iPhone occupying third spot with 22%. Motorola and HTC are the key suspects fingered for Android's continuing ascent, with the "large screen allure" of their handsets playing well with the buying public. Skip after the break for a more detailed breakdown.

Disclaimer: NPD's Ross Rubin is a contributor to Engadget.
Show full PR text
The NPD Group: Motorola, HTC drive Android to Smartphone OS lead in the U.S.

Android now installed in one of every three smartphones sold at retail. BlackBerry OS share drops 9 points to 28 percent.


PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, August 4, 2010 - Riding the wave of new handset introductions and wide carrier distribution in the second quarter (Q2), the Android smartphone operating system (OS) continued its upward climb in the U.S. consumer mobile phone market, according to The NPD Group, a leading market research company. For the first time since the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2007, RIM fell to second position, as Android took the lead among operating systems in handsets sold to U.S. consumers. NPD's latest wireless market research reveals that Android accounted for 33 percent of all smartphones purchased in Q2, ahead of RIM (28 percent) and Apple (22 percent).

"For the second consecutive quarter, Android handsets have shown strong but slowing sell-through market share gains among U.S. consumers," said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD. "While the Google-developed OS took market share from RIM, Apple's iOS saw a small gain this quarter on the strength of the iPhone 4 launch."

Based on U.S. consumer purchases of mobile phones in Q2, the top 5 Android smartphones were as follows:

Motorola Droid
HTC Droid Incredible
HTC EVO 4G
HTC Hero
HTC Droid Eris

"Blackberry 6 will soon offer features that have been popular in recently launched Android handsets, such as support for capacitive touchscreens and a WebKit-based browser. However, the Blackberry Torch lacks the large screen allure that has characterized the best selling Android devices at its price point, including the Droid Incredible and EVO 4G," Rubin said.

Model selection and promotions continue to play a role in the race for carrier dominance. According to NPD's Mobile Phone Track, Verizon Wireless has maintained its lead among top carriers for the last three quarters comprising a third (33 percent) of the units sold in the U.S. mobile phone market in Q2, followed by AT&T (25 percent), Sprint (12 percent), and T-Mobile (11 percent). In Q2 Verizon Wireless continued their buy-one-get-one (BOGO) offers on all smartphones, including both RIM and Android models.

In spite of an overall decline in the number of mobile phones purchased year over year, the ongoing popularity of both messaging phones and smartphones, which are generally more costly than standard feature phones, resulted in slightly higher prices for all mobile phones in Q2. The average selling price for all mobile phones reached $90, which is a 3 percent increase since Q2 last year. Smartphone unit prices, by comparison, averaged $143 in Q2 2010, which is a 9 percent decrease over the previous year.

Data Note: The information in this press release is from Mobile Phone Track – NPD's consumer tracking of U.S. consumers, aged 18 and older, who reported purchasing a mobile phone. NPD does not track corporate/enterprise mobile phone purchases.