Google's Android platform has surpassed Apple's iPhone OS when it comes to smartphones currently in use in the US according to data released by the NPD group today.
Android powers 28 percent of smartphones in the US compared to 21 percent for the iPhone. Both however are still lagging RIM's Blackberry OS which leads the pack with 36 percent. Windows Mobile, Symbian, Palm and others make the remaining 15 percent.
NPD says that the falling price of Android smartphones with a multitude of models coming in the past months coupled with periodic deals like Verizon Wireless' buy one get one deal has boosted Android's market share.
Still the rate of growth in the last quarter failed to match that of the previous one. Between Q3 and Q4 of last year, Android's marketshare more than quadrupled while rival platforms all fell significantly or plateaued.
At the current rate, Android may surpass RIM's by the end of the year although Apple is likely to be the one winning the average revenue per user battle. Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, in a statement that "As in the past, carrier distribution and promotion have played a crucial role in determining smartphone market share".
Speaking of carriers, AT&T - the only US iPhone network operator - still commands the market with 32 percent of smartphones sold; Verizon follows closely with 30 percent while T-Mobile and Sprint account for nearly a third of the US smartphone market.