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Continuing its pursuit of bona fide wireless world domination, Google’s Android mobile operating system has usurped the number two spot from Apple’s iPhone operating system says the NPD Group. According to Mobile Phone Track, the market research firm’s suite of tools for measuring wireless handset sales, devices running the Android OS have surpassed devices running Apple’s iPhone OS in popularity.
Based on unit sales in the first quarter of this year, Apple’s OS captured 21 percent of smartphone sales while devices running Android made up 28 percent of U.S. mobile phone sales in the same period. RIM’s BlackBerry OS continued to reign supreme, boasting a hold on 36 percent of the U.S. handset market in Q1.
The study further indicated that AT&T, the nation’s second largest wireless carrier, accounted for nearly a third of total smartphone sales (32 percent). Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. wireless carrier, accounted for 30 percent of smartphone sales. T-Mobile and Sprint made up 17 percent and 15 percent of smartphone sales, respectively.
As an open source mobile operating system capable of being freely tweaked and incorporated into handsets across manufacturers, Android has been championed by a number of industry heavyweights including HTC, Motorola and Samsung. Multiple Android-powered devices manufactured by a wide array of handset makers are now available from all four major wireless carriers in the U.S., with many more Android devices scheduled to become available to consumers in the coming months.