Android takes smart-phone lead from BlackBerry, iPhone
Android phones have replaced the BlackBerry and iPhone in popularity among new users, according to new data by Nielsen.
Statistics show that Google's operating system for mobile phones has become a greater threat in the dynamic and competitive market for wireless smart phones.
In August, 32 percent of new users (people who bought a phone within the past six months) purchased a device running on Google's operating system, more than double the portion of new users surveyed in January.
Research in Motion’s BlackBerry operating system and Apple's iPhone were behind at about 25 percent of the market each.
Overall, BlackBerry continues to dominate the smart-phone market for new and longer-term consumers with 31 percent of all sales. But that portion is down from 36 percent in January. Google's Android sales have more than doubled from 8 percent to 19 percent of all customers.
Fierce competition is not only being displayed in sales but in patent disputes between phone makers. Microsoft, which has trailed all operating systems, sued Motorola for allegedly infringing smart-phone patents related to e-mail, calendar and other applications. Apple and HTC have a back-and-forth patents dispute. In March, Apple sued Taiwan-based HTC, the manufacturer of such Android phones as the HTC Hero and Google's Nexus One (since taken off the market), alleging that it had infringed on 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone's user interface, underlying architecture and hardware. Separately, Apple was ordered by a Texas jury to pay more than $625 million to a computer science professor for alleged patent infringements.
| October 5, 2010; 5:00 PM ET
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