May 31 AT 7:59 PM Alberto Vildosola 14 Comments

Nielsen: Android now owns more than a third of the U.S. smartphone market

It’s that time of the week again, folks. Another research firm is reporting that Android is the most popular mobile platform in the U.S. This time is Nielsen’s turn, which today released its mobile report covering the three-month period from February to April.

Echoing Gartner’s report from two weeks ago, Nielsen said that Android now owns 36% of the smartphone market in the U.S. Far behind Android, iOS sits in second place with a respectable 26% of the market, which is closely followed by Blackberry OS with 23%. After Blackberry OS, things start to look a bit bleak for the rest of the mobile platforms.

Coming in on fourth place, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile still has 9% of the market — many months after the company dumped the OS for Windows Phone. Speaking of Windows Phone, the platform has somewhere around 1% of the market, battling it out with the ancient Palm OS.

Finally, HP’s Web OS and Nokia’s Symbian both have 2% of the U.S. market. Seeing how the Symbian platform  is currently headed to the cemetery – partly thanks to Android — expect its U.S. market share to completely disappear over the coming months.

With Android and iOS owning around 2/3 of the market, you’d think there’d be some similarities between the two OS — and there are. In fact, your iOS-toting arch-enemy uses his iPhone for the same stuff that you use your “droid”. According to Nielsen, both Android and iOS users download a bunch of apps, listen to Pandora a lot, and spend many hours watching videos on YouTube.

Where Android and iOS users differ, however, is in how much data they consume. Nielsen says that Android users consume an average of 582MB a month. That’s 90MB more than the 492MB that a typical iOS user consumes in a month. As a former iPhone buyer, I can attest to this. Since iOS users are forced to use iTunes, most of them sync their songs, photos, videos, and ringtones via USB. On the other hand, Android’s cloud-centric design allows its users to sync their photos with Picasa, manage their videos and books with YouTube and the Android Market, and download ringtones with Zedge. Why buy a small computer, if you have to connect it to a “real” computer every time you want to put anything on it?

As Android users, do you guys find yourself using more data than before you had an Android phone? Let us know in the comments.

Alberto is a college student living somewhere between Miami, Sarasota and the World Wide Web. Although a former iPhone owner, Alberto is now a proud Android enthusiast. You can follow Alberto on Twitter and Google+ for his thoughts unworthy of an article.

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