Android's growth outpaced the iPhone in the past six months, but Apple's hallmark device remains the most desired phone, according to the most recent data release by Nielsen.
The ratings firm said Android grabbed 27 percent of new smartphone subscribers by the second quarter of this year, while the iPhone had a 23 percent market share during the same period.
Despite Android's growth, Nielsen found that iPhone users are more loyal. Nearly 90 percent of current iPhone users intend to stick with the platform, compared with 71 percent of Android owners who would choose the platform on their next device, Nielsen reported.
Owners of Research In Motion's BlackBerry phones showed the highest rate of defection, with just 42 percent reporting that they would stick with the operating system for their next device.
In spite of the loyalty gap for the platform, BlackBerry remained dominant with a 35 percent market share, with Apple coming in a strong second with 28 percent of the market, Nielsen reported. Android has enjoyed steady growth since the fourth quarter of last year and now holds 13 percent of the overall smartphone market.
Nielsen also gave some projections for smartphone penetration in the United States. The firm predicts that smartphones will overtake feature phones in the U.S. market by the end of next year. Smartphones currently comprise one-quarter of the U.S. mobile market, according to Nielsen estimates.