Android and Apple are in a battle for market share that is unique among the smartphone players, a situation confirmed by new research from Nielsen.
The latest research shows that between the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, Android and the iPhone each grew their market share by 2 percent. At the same time, BlackBerry lost 2 percent. The report puts BlackBerry creator Research In Motion (RIM) at 35 percent of total market share and the iPhone at 28 percent of total market share, with Android coming in at around 9 percent.
The report also found that Android users tend to be slightly younger than those using iPhones. Fully 55 percent of Android users were under the age of 34, while 47 percent of iPhone users fall within the same demographic.
"As is usually the case, age is also a prime determinant of income and education, with Android users slightly less wealthy and less educated," wrote Don Kellogg, senior manager of research and insights/telecom practice at the Nielsen Co., on the Nielsen Wire blog.
Kellogg concludes that what sets Android and the iPhone apart is the loyalty of their users. Nielsen found that 80 percent of iPhone users want their next device to run iPhone OS, while 70 percent of Android users want another Android device. That's in comparison to BlackBerry and Windows Mobile: Nielsen reports that 47 percent of BlackBerry users want another Blackberry, while only 34 percent of Windows Mobile users want another Windows Mobile device.
Nevertheless, it looks like iPhone users are increasingly open to the notion of trying something other than their trusty iDevice.
"Among Android and iPhone users who would like to switch operating systems, the rate at which Android users would like to try the iPhone is twice as high as that of iPhone users who would try Android. Given that iPhone penetration is three times that of Android, more iPhone consumers are willing to try Android," Kellogg wrote.