Apple's iOS and Google's Android are America's most desired smartphone operating systems, according to recently released Nielsen statistics.
It's the RIM-run BlackBerry that competes with Apple's iPhone in terms of actual owners. According to Nielsen, almost 30% of Americans use a smartphone, and right now, most are using the iPhone or the BlackBerry. With 27.9% of the market, Apple just beats out the BlackBerry, which can claim 27.4%. The Android is just behind, with 22.7% market share.
While BlackBerry has long dominated the market as a requisite accessory in the corporate world, the sleek upstarts from Apple and Google are rapidly gaining. Recent reports that investment banks like Citigroup and Bank of America are considering allowing their workers to use the iPhone rather than the ubiquitous BlackBerry should frighten RIM.
If market share were measured by wishful thinking, the BlackBerry would be in trouble. Though Android is slightly behind its two competitors at the moment in terms of actual users, according to Nielsen, 28% of shoppers say the Android is "their next desired smartphone operating system." But even in fantasy-shopping, the iPhone wins out with 30% of potential buyers indicating they'd like their next operating system to be Apple's iOS. Only 13% of potential buyers said BlackBerry is their "most desired" operating system for their next smartphone.
Nielsen highlighted an additional data point: "Women planning to get a smartphone are more likely to want an iPhone as their next device, with slightly more males preferring Android."
But RIM shouldn't lose all hope. According to StatCounter, BlackBerry overtook Apple's iPhone in November, for the first time in mobile web usage. BlackBerry's market share totalled 34.3% to Apple's 33%, says StatCounter. Meanwhile, both Apple and BlackBerry should beware the Droid: the newest phone to enter the race has tripled its share in the past year, from 8.2% to 23.8%.