Nielsen U.S. smartphone market share: iPhone 4S catapults Apple iOS into virtual tie with Google Android

According to the latest research from Nielsen, the high-profile launch of Apple’s iPhone 4S on October 14, 2011 had an enormous impact on the proportion of smartphone owners who chose an Apple iPhone.

Among recent acquirers, meaning those who said they got a new device within the past three months, 44.5% of those surveyed in December said they chose an iPhone, compared to just 25.1% in October. Furthermore, 57% of new iPhone owners surveyed in December said they got an iPhone 4S.

Android continues to cling to the lead among all U.S. smartphone users, with 46.9% of all smartphone owners surveyed in Q42011 reporting they settled for an Android-based mobile phone vs. 44.5% who treated themselves to Apple iPhones.

As of Q42011, 46 percent of US mobile consumers had smartphones, and that figure is growing quickly. In fact, 60 percent of those who said they got a new device within the last three months chose a smartphone over a feature phone.

Nielsen: U.S. Smartphone OS share, recent acquirers, Q4 2011

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple’s iPhone dramatically eating into Android sales – January 10, 2012
NPD: Apple iOS market share jumps from 26% to 43%, Android plummets from 60% to 47% – January 9, 2012
ChangeWave: More than half of smartphone buyers plan to buy an Apple iPhone – January 9, 2012
InfoWorld: Without a doubt, the best smartphone for business and pro users is Apple’s iPhone 4S – January 4, 2012
Apple’s iOS owns 52 percent of mobile browser market; Android slips to third – January 3, 2012


  1. Why do they continue to compare the sales of Apple’s iPhone (hardware) with Android (software on many,many brands of hardware … This does not give me a accurate picture of mobile phone sales .

    As an app developer I need to know comparisons of hardware sales volumes … Lumping all Android phones together ignores the fact that all of these phones have various screen sizes not to mention various, sometimes incompatible versions of the OS… This type of comparison is useless and misleading.

    1. It’s not even a measurement of phone OS sales since only Microsoft sells a smart phone OS and Windows phone 7 numbers are only a rounding error and not even on this chart.

  2. All my buds here at the trailer park gots Android. Them iPhones sure looks purdy but only dem smart kids with da high school diplomas and a part-time job gets a fancy iPhone.

    1. Cleetus, ‘member back in ’05 when Travis got one o dem HTC smart fones – the Tornado, and he got all uppity and moved hisself and his double-wide out o our nayborhood?

      Oh wait, that was a real tornado…

  3. All the pundits said they were disappointed in the iPhone 4S; imagine if the 4S hadn’t been so disappointing where Android would be now. Alcancun (above) is right: they are comparing the iPhone against phones from multiple manufactures and product lines, not a fair comparison. If they compare the iPhone fairly, it leads by leaps and bounds!!!

  4. I have to admit that for one smartphone vendor that is selling only one new model and two older models of smartphone, Apple is doing very well indeed despite Wall Street’s insistence that iOS will completely lose to Android going forward. Telling the future is a very difficult thing to do and that’s one reason I don’t quite understand why Wall Street ignores current sales and continually looks years in advance for company growth. There’s something definitely wrong with them doing that. Apple’s growth seems to be limited only by the amount of product they can manufacture fast enough. I honestly wouldn’t have believed that the iPhone could take market share back to that degree in such a short time.

  5. Hey that eHarmony TV commercial with the cute girl saying iPhone owners gets more sex then Androd. And her male date says ‘I have a Droid’. And the girl says, “Ackward!!!”… is really paying off! Go iPhone! If Apple were smart they’d add a ‘Golden Delicious con dom in every Apple iPhone box! And Apple should come up with a new slogan, like… An Apple a day, will get you lai…”. Nope, sorry, can’t go there…

  6. The press and market response to the iP4 launch was predictable. Apple didn’t meet all the hype. But as usual the consumer response was stellar.
    The iPhone is moving in the same way as the iPod. First one high end product, then cheaper versions and as time goes on wider and wider distribution. As a result they end up with 70% of the market.
    I’m not saying that iPhones will capture that much of the market but they should do better than 25% in the long term.
    If the market starts predict iPhone domination then we should start worrying. That is usually when everything starts going south.

  7. Regardless of marketshare, Apple still takes the largest slice of profits. You also have to remember that Apple is competing against BOGO and free phones for market share. Until recently all of Apple’s marketshare represented paid for phones. Now the 3GS is free with a contract. Good way to introduce someone to Apple iPhone. Still most people pay for their iPhones. I’m sure would rather have the largest chunk of profitshare, if it can’t have the largest chunk of marketshare.

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