Google Inc.’s Android software has become the most popular operating system in the U.S. among new smartphone buyers, topping the iPhone and BlackBerry platforms, according to Nielsen Co.
Android was the top choice for U.S. consumers who bought a smartphone in the past six months with Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry and Apple Inc.’s iPhone tied for second place, Nielsen said.
Android has surged in popularity because the software is free to any company that wants to build phones using it and a wider range of manufacturers have adopted it, including Motorola Inc. and HTC Corp. Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. wireless operator, has promoted Android devices, and AT&T Inc., the exclusive U.S. carrier for the iPhone, now also offers several Android models.
In August, Nielsen said that Android had passed Apple’s iPhone in sales among new U.S. smartphone buyers in the second quarter, though it still trailed the BlackBerry.
While BlackBerry retained the top spot among all U.S. smartphone owners with a 31 percent share, its lead over Apple is declining, Nielsen said. IPhone accounted for 28 percent of users and Android, 19 percent.
Google, based in Mountain View, California, had dropped 16 percent this year in Nasdaq Stock Market trading before today, while RIM declined 28 percent and Apple jumped 32 percent.
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