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Smartphone sales continue to surpass those of feature phones, Nielsen says

June 30, 2011 |  7:58 am

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Smartphones are once again outselling other mobile phones, according to the Nielsen research group.

From March to May, 55% of new cellphones purchased were smartphones, pushing about 38% of all U.S. cellphone users to app-running, email-sending devices, Nielsen said in a blog post on the growing popularity of smartphones.

Over the same three-month period a year ago, just 34% of those who bought a new cellphone chose a smartphone over less-capable feature phone models, which are usually limited to talking, texting and snapping a photo, the research firm noted.

Google's Android operating system is maintaining its reign as most popular smartphone platform of choice, with 38% of smartphone subscribers going Google, Nielsen said.

"However, while Android also leads among those who recently purchased a new smartphone, it is the Apple iPhone that has shown the most growth in recent months," the group said. A graph provided by Nielsen showed the iPhone's market share over March to May sitting at about 27%, just 11-percentage-points shy of Android phones in the U.S.

The Nielsen findings are the latest to attest to smartphone growth this year.

In April, the NPD group reported that smartphones outsold feature phones for the first time over a three-month period and the International Data Corp. predicted earlier this month that the smartphone market as a whole could grow by about 55% this year.

[Corrected 4:52 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said Apple's iOS was trailing Google's Android operating system by 9-percentage points in smartphone marketshare according to the NPD group. The research firm reported that iOS is trailing Android by 11% in U.S. smartphone market share.]

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Photo: A cellphone user shoots video of a Chinese New Year parade with a Samsung smartphone in New York City's Chinatown. Credit: Mr. T in DC via Flickr

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