Nielsen: Apple’s U.S. iPhone market share surges as Android stalls

Almost half (49.7%) of U.S. mobile subscribers now own smartphones, as of February 2012. According to Nielsen, this marks an increase of 38 percent over last year; in February 2011, only 36 percent of mobile subscribers owned smartphones. This growth is driven by increasing smartphone adoption, as more than two-thirds of those who acquired a new mobile device in the last three months chose a smartphone over a feature phone.

Nielsen: U.S. Smartphone Penetration

Overall, Android continues to lead the smartphone market in the U.S., with 48 percent of smartphone owners saying they owned an Android OS device. Nearly a third (32.1%) of smartphone users have an Apple iPhone, and Blackberry owners represented another 11.6 percent of the smartphone market. Among recent acquirers who got their smartphone within the last three months, 48 percent of those surveyed in February said they chose an Android and 43 percent bought an iPhone.

Nielsen: U.S. Smartphone OS Share, February 2012

Source: Nielsen

MacDailyNews Take: Three iPhone models versus uncountable Fragmandroid dreck. The tide has turned.

Related articles:
2011 best-selling smartphones in USA: Apple iPhone models take top 3 spots – February 23, 2012
Aftershocks from Android market share dive rumble through mobile market – January 31, 2012
Legendary judge hands Apple key patent interpretation victory against Android – January 30, 2012
ABI: Apple iPhone tops smartphone market as Android suffers its first decline in share – January 27, 2012
Apple overtakes Samsung to take world’s largest smartphone vendor crown – January 27, 2012
These charts will make the Fandroids want to puke – January 26, 2012
AT&T sold 7.6 million iPhones and fewer than 1.8 million Android phones in Q411 – January 26, 2012
Apple’s iOS passes Google’s Android to take U.S. smartphone market share crown – January 25, 2012
Analyst: Verizon’s record iPhone sales signal waning demand for Google Android phones – January 24, 2012


  1. This is prob. the biggest story since the iPad 3. Watch the lazy inept media ignore this little fact.

    Android is disintegrating from fragmentation, a great product in the 4S and no real means of developers to make real money from their ecosystem.

    Andy Rubin won’t even have his worthless “Activation numbers” figures to tout anymore.

    Will he even be at google in 18months? I saw a help wanted sign at my local used car dealer. Perhaps he should get a jump on things and apply.

    1. Apple has gone from being the dominant supplier of webphones to being second to Android. The recent pop is product cycle related due to the concentrated supply through a single company. To attribute this as a trend is misleading to say the least.. its ignorant of the overriding trends.

  2. Wow! When you read, “Among recent acquirers who got their smartphone within the last three months, 48 percent of those surveyed in February said they chose an Android and 43 percent bought an iPhone.” Do you notice, no one is buying Blackberries. They are just running out their contracts.

    RIMM had their quarterly report today. It must have been bloody! Apple iPhone and iPad RoadKill.

  3. Tells me that 48% of people are Apple haters. This corresponds pretty closely to what I find when I talk to random people about their technology choice.

    Also, about 48% of the current population doesn’t know who the speaker of the house is either. They usually say their “mother” right before whipping out their android razor to send a text.

    1. “Tells me that 48% of people are Apple haters.”

      Not at all–Android phones have simply become the default phone. A significant number of people that buy them are clueless and/or just want a phone. The cell companies then sell them a cheap Android-based phone despite the user not giving a damn about any “smart” functionality.

  4. Many people who buy smartphones really only use it as a feature phone. They get it because it is free, and they are following the advice of a salesperson. We sometimes forget there are many out there who cannot afford even $100 and who get minimum plans. They really only want a feature phone, but the carriers do not outright offer or advocate for them, hence they buy an Android.

  5. I suspect a large percentage of the androids are free or dirt cheap. I regularly receive offers for FREE android phones. If the numbers actually reflected people who actually plunk down their hard earned cash for a device it wouldn’t even be close… follow the money-it doesn’t lie. that’s a far more telling indicator than whatever the claimed number of activations is.

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