March 29, 2012 at 10:09 AM ET
The smartphone juggernaut continues in the U.S. According to a new Nielsen report, 49.7 percent of mobile subscribers owned smartphones as of February. That's up from 36 percent a year ago.
Two-thirds of those who got a new phone in the last three months chose a smartphone over a feature phone, the research firm says.
Android-based phones lead the U.S. smartphone market with a 48 percent share, while Apple's iPhone is at 32 percent, and BlackBerry is at 11.6 percent.
"Among recent acquirers who got their smartphone within the last three months, 48 percent of those surveyed in February said they chose an Android and 43 percent bought an iPhone," the research firm said. Only 5 percent opted for a BlackBerry.
Another report, from comScore earlier this month, said that Android is on nearly half the phones carried by the country's 101 million smartphone subscribers, while about another third use iPhones.
RIM, which makes BlackBerry, has continued to decline as a favorite among U.S. purchasers. In the summer of 2011, Nielsen pegged RIM's U.S. market share at about 20 percent.
In Nielsen's "State of the Media: The Mobile Media" report, released in December and based on a survey of 25,000 mobile customers, the research firm said smartphone ownership is predominant among those age 18 to 34.
Nearly two-thirds -- 64 percent -- of 25– to 34-year-olds and 53 percent of 18– to 24-year-olds own smartphones, "and they have led in smartphone penetration compared to other age groups since 2009."
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