Port Washington, N.Y. - Android made strong gains in third-quarter smartphone sales in the U.S., mostly at the expense of RIM's BlackBerry OS but also at Apple's expense, an NPD Group survey of consumers found.
In the quarter, Android accounted for the top share of smartphone sales to consumers, with Apple's OS coming in second and RIM dropping to a close third, the survey found.
Android was installed in 44 percent of all smartphones purchased by consumers in the third quarter, up sequentially from the second quarter's 33 percent, with Apple's iOS rising sequentially by only 1 percentage point to 23 percent. RIM's OS share declined sequentially to 22 percent from 28 percent.
Android's rise and BlackBerry's decline is more evident in third-quarter year-over-year comparisons. Android's share rose on a year-over-year basis from 3 percent to 44 percent, while RIM's share fell from 46 percent to 22 percent. Apple's share also fell, but more moderately from 19 percent to 23 percent.
"Much of Android's quarterly share growth came at the expense of RIM, rather than Apple," said Ross Rubin, NPD's industry analysis executive director. "The HTC Evo 4G, Motorola Droid X and other new high-end Android devices have been gaining momentum at carriers that traditionally have been strong RIM distributors, and the recent introduction of the BlackBerry Torch has done little to stem the tide."
NPD's survey also found that in the third quarter, four of the top five handset models in unit sales to consumers were smartphones. The top five, in order, were the Apple iPhone 4, BlackBerry Curve 8500 series, LG Cosmos, Motorola Droid X and HTC Evo 4G. All but the LG Cosmos are smartphones; the Cosmos is a quick-messaging phone.
NPD's Mobile Phone Track survey tracks consumers, aged 18 and older, who reported purchasing a mobile phone. The survey doesn't incorporate purchases by enterprises or corporations for their employees.