USA - Research by the NPD Group indicates that more Google Android-based smartphones are being sold in the US than iPhone units. RIM's BlackBerry remains ahead of both Android and iPhone, with 36% of the smartphone market-share in the country.
In terms of numbers, 28% of the smartphones sold last quarter ran on Google Android, while only 21% were iPhone models.
Unlike BlackBerry or Google Android, the iPhone has a very closed system of operation, with three iPhone versions available, divided into different storage capacities. In the meanwhile, there are several BlackBerry devices in the market; and Google Android is a free operating system, manufacturers may install it on their devices at will.
Android is gaining momentum in world markets, allowing Google to retail its first branded smartphone, and Motorola to revive its mobile business. In the US, the Google Nexus One, Verizon Motorola Droid and HTC Incredible are popular Android smartphones that are capable of rivaling the iPhone's potential, even though the Android Marketplace doesn't have nearly as enough apps as the iTunes App Store.
The iPhone's sales were probably affected by the negative performance of its exclusive-operator AT&T, blamed for call drops and other issues.
Even with the iPhone's lower sales, AT&T still made off with 32% of the sales, followed by Verizon with 30%, T-Mobile with 17%, and 15% for Sprint.
Smartphone average prices rounded the US$151 figure, with US$88 for feature-phones. This represents a 3% and 5% increase, respectively, showing a probably positive outlook for the industry.
In international terms, Nokia has 39.3% of the smartphone market with its strong Symbian presence, followed by BlackBerry with 19.4%, and Apple with 16.1%. These figures are sure to change with Android's rapid growth, and Nokia's potential drop if it doesn't hold its market-share.