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NPD: Android Tops In Q3 U.S. Smartphone Sales

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.