Apple — not Android — has the momentum in the United States, a new study finds, and their powerhouse move was the Verizon iPhone, which flattened domestic Android growth.
New purchases of Android-based handsets hit a high mark of 27 percent when the Verizon iPhone appeared and continued at least through May, according to Nielsen. Apple, on the other hand, began at 10 percent of new buyers when 2011 began and grew to 17 percent by May, the firm announced Thursday.
Although Android maintains an overall market lead of 38 percent, the iPhone has 27 percent and is still growing. The increasing growth of the iPhone in the U.S. coupled with the leveling off for Android provides more ammunition to the theory that previous Android growth was due to the iPhone being available only from AT&T, not due to some inherent greater demand for the handsets based on Google’s software.
The belief will be tested again in September, when Apple is expected to introduce a new iPhone. The new handset could unleash a new wave of iPhone buyers, including Sprint and T-Mobile customers, potentially doubling Apple’s U.S. carrier partners to four.
BlackBerry-maker RIM is the overall loser in the race between Apple and Android. Both are taking share away from the Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM, which has just six percent of new buyers and 21 percent of the overall market. Experts question whether even the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BlackBerry 7 handsets could help recover a loss of 25 percent of the market so far this year.
Smartphone ownership in the U.S. is gaining, the research found. Nearly 40 percent of U.S. cell phone owners now have smartphones and 55 percent of new handsets are smartphones, according to Nielsen.
Did you trade in your Android phone for a Verizon iPhone? Let us know in the comments.