Visit any mobile retailer and you're likely to notice that smartphones are becoming mighty popular. In fact, Nielsen now reports that these wondrous creations now account for more than half of all mobile phone sales -- 55 percent, to be exact -- compared to 34 percent one year ago. The study, which consists of data from March through May of 2011, suggests that while smartphones continue to be outnumbered by feature phones, penetration has risen from 29.7 to 38 percent in a matter of months.

Nielsen further states that while Android remains the dominant platform (with 38 percent market share), its growth appears only steady, despite Andy Rubin's recent assertion. Meanwhile, iOS (with a 27 percent stake) is experiencing quite the growth and now accounts for 17 percent of all new activations. Unlike the folks in Mountain View and Cupertino, the crew in Waterloo have reason to worry: RIM's market share has fallen from 27.4 to 21 percent in a few short months, and the platform now accounts for only six percent of new activations. If you're interested in finding out more, just follow the break for another snapshot of the mobile world. And if you're feeling generous, you might consider sending Sirs Lazaridis and Balsillie a get well soon card.

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Nielsen: smartphones dominate among new subscribers; Android leads, iOS surges, RIM falters