28% of the Mobile Market in the U.S. uses a Smartphone

More people are opting for smartphones these days, with 28% of the U.S. mobile market snapping up the devices in the 3rd quarter, according to Monday data from Nielsen.
The report attributed the growth to the popularity of Apple’s iPhone, RIM’s BlackBerry phones, and Android-based devices.

RIM and Apple are the top two operating systems in the U.S., with 30% and 28% of the market, respectively. Google’s Android platform, while growing, sits at 3rd place as the OS of choice for 19% of smartphone subscribers. However, in the last six months, Android devices were the most popular choice for those purchasing a new smartphone.
Globally, the U.S. smartphone penetration rate is similar to that in the U.K. However, more users have adopted the advanced devices in Spain and Italy, with 37% and 33% penetration, respectively, last quarter. Nielsen said the Symbian platform is the most popular OS in the European market.

In terms of operating system demographics, Apple had the highest amount of users under 44 while RIM had the most users over 45, and half of Android users are younger than 35 years old. Broken down by race, Nielsen found smartphone owners to be more a bit more diverse than those with feature phones. About 62% of smartphone owners are white, compared to 76% of feature phone owners. About 19% of Hispanics own smartphones, compared to 9 percent with feature phones. There was not a huge difference between the percentage of African Americans and Asians with smartphones versus feature phones.
The study showed that the number of smartphone users has surged; in the last six months, 41% of those purchasing a new phone chose a smartphone rather than a standard feature phone, a 6% increase from last quarter.

More smartphone users mean more people online. According to a International Telecommunications Union study, two billion people will be online by the end of 2010, and increased smartphone penetration is a factor.

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