Despite year-on-year losses, Android remains the most popular mobile operating system by volume in the United States, according to the latest research from strategic market research firm Strategy Analytics.
However, while the Google-developed OS still enjoys a market leading position, it is beginning to lose ground to Apple's iOS – a trend that this autumn's expected arrival of the next-generation iPhone 5 is likely to accelerate.
"Apple is rumoured to be launching a new iPhone in the coming weeks, and that event, if it takes place, is going to heap even more pressure on Android in its home market," the report noted.
According to the study (top), Android's US market share declined during the second quarter 2012 by 5 per cent year-on-year, falling from 61 per cent in Q2 2011 to 56 per cent this year. At the same time, iOS boosted its market share by 10 per cent, rising to 33.2 per cent in Q2 2012.
Android handset shipments also fell, stumbling down by 2 per cent to 13.4 million units for the quarter, which ended this June. Concurrently, iOS device shipments increased by the same amount, with Apple sending out 7.9 million handsets in Q2 2012, up from 5.9 million last year.
The research showed BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion continuing to struggle, with its native OS losing 4 per cent of its market share. Across all operating systems, total smartphone shipments were down 1.4 per cent from last year. Overall, year-on-year growth was negative, with the market receding by 5.4 per cent.
"This was one of the slowest growth rates ever experienced by the important US smartphone market," Strategy Analytics claimed.
"A volatile economy, maturing penetration of smartphones among contract mobile subscribers, and major operators tightening their upgrade policies to enhance profits were among the main causes of the slowdown," the report added.
With regards to Android's continued OS market dominance in the US, it is worth noting that Google's mobile OS runs across a number of devices from a range of manufacturers like HTC, LG, Samsung, and Sony. Apple's iOS, by way of contrast, is native to its product ranges. In other words, Android should expect to own most of the market, because it comprises a proportionally larger amount of the pie.