Android Phones Outpacing BlackBerry, iPhone: Nielsen Report

The popularity of Android smartphones is surging, as users bought more Android phones in 2010 than any other device, according to a Nielsen report.

As of Aug. 10, Android phones represented 32 percent of the smartphones sold this year. In comparison, RIM BlackBerry handsets represented 26 percent of sales and Apple iPhones accounted for 25 percent of devices sold.

Android's overall market share has doubled with smartphone users over the period, rising from 8 percent in January to 19 percent in August.

Thus far, BlackBerry still retains the largest share of the overall smartphone market with a total of 31 percent, while the iPhone places second at 28 percent and Android comes in third at 19 percent.

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The statistics show BlackBerry could be rapidly losing its lead over iPhone in the smartphone market, however. Sales of RIM's BlackBerry appear to be trending downward since January after the company reported that its market share fell about 5 points.

NEXT: Apple Vs. Android

The Nielsen study showed that sales of the Apple iPhone have remained stagnant in recent months, even following the release of its iPhone 4 in June. The Cupertino, Calif.-based computer company came under fire over the summer when its latest iPhone device was shipped with an antenna flaw that blocked reception if held a certain way and repeatedly dropped calls, even in major metropolitan areas.

Part of Android's steady surge in popularity could be attributed to its wide and varied distribution. Unlike the Apple iPhone, which thus far is only available on the AT&T network in the U.S., the Google operating system runs on a variety of handsets by multiple carriers such as Motorola and HTC.

Meanwhile, as rumors continue to circulate that Verizon Wireless might carry the iPhone in 2011, AT&T confirmed that it would begin selling three new Motorola Android phones by the holidays. The three new handsets include the Motorola Bravo, Flipout and Flipside, which will be available at prices ranging from $80 to $130 for customers who commit to a two-year contract.