Jan. 18, 2012 at 2:14 PM ET
Good news for Apple: even as the giant Android persists in its quest for world dominance, those who prefer buying iPhones still figure prominently, with nearly half of smartphone buyers choosing an iPhone in the past three months.
Results from a recent Nielsen survey show that amongst buyers who purchased a new device within the last three months, 44.5 said they bought an iPhone. In October, that number was 25.1 percent.
That probably has something to do with the availability of a certain Siri-driven iPhone 4S, which arrived in October to some deflated enthusiasm, but picked up steam as people laid down hard earned cash (or credit) for the 4S anyway. Of those who said they chose an iPhone, 57 percent said they picked the 4S specifically.
Android still has the edge overall in U.S smartphone users, with 46.3 percent Android mobile phone owners surveyed in the fourth quarter of 2011, with 30 percent claiming to be iPhone owners. But in the past three months, that number has risen to 37 percent. Android's numbers have also risen recently to 51.7 percent of recent acquisitions.
It's in the area of recent acquirers where it looks like iOS has the momentum over Android, almost doubling its share in the operating system war from 25.1 percent to 44.5 percent from October through December. At the same time, Android made a dramatic drop to 46.9 percent, from 61.6 percent.
Apple may have drawn blood in this battle, but other industry trackers report that the gulf is still formidable. At the end of November, according to comScore, Android made up nearly 47 percent of the U.S. smartphone market share with iOS behind it at nearly 29 percent.
Smartphones, in general, are also eclipsing feature phones. Yes, you may know a few people who still have a flip or candy bar phone, but all they really do on it is talk or text. Amongst most of your friends and family, we're guessing, there's probably at least one smartphone. By Nielsen's surveys, 46 percent of U.S. mobile consumers were smartphone owners by the end of 2011. And 60 percent of those who bought a new device in that last quarter chose a smartphone. (This is consistent with what we've been telling you, as recently as mid-December.)
Take our poll and tell us what you bought (or received) this holiday season.