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The Android smartphone operating system (OS) continued its upward climb in the U.S. consumer mobile phone market in Q2 2010, according to the NPD Group. Due to introductions by HTC and Motorola, the Android managed to leave behind not only Apple iPhone, but also RIM's Blackberry, at least when it comes to the consumer market.

For the first time since the fourth quarter of 2007, RIM fell to second position, as Android took the lead among operating systems in handsets sold to U.S. consumers. NPD’s latest wireless market research reveals that Android accounted for 33% of all smartphones purchased in Q2, ahead of RIM (28%) and Apple (22%).

“For the second consecutive quarter, Android handsets have shown strong but slowing sell-through market share gains among U.S. consumers. While the Google-developed OS took market share from RIM, Apple’s iOS saw a small gain this quarter on the strength of the iPhone 4 launch," said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD.

Based on U.S. consumer purchases of mobile phones in Q2, the top 5 Android smartphones were as follows:

  1. Motorola Droid
  2. HTC Droid Incredible
  3. HTC EVO 4G
  4. HTC Hero
  5. HTC Droid Eris

“Blackberry 6 will soon offer features that have been popular in recently launched Android handsets, such as support for capacitive touchscreens and a WebKit-based browser. However, the Blackberry Torch lacks the large screen allure that has characterized the best selling Android devices at its price point, including the Droid Incredible and EVO 4G,” said Mr. Rubin.

Model selection and promotions continue to play a role in the race for carrier dominance. According to NPD’s mobile phone track, Verizon Wireless has maintained its lead among top carriers for the last three quarters comprising a third (33%) of the units sold in the U.S. mobile phone market in Q2, followed by AT&T (25%), Sprint (12%) and T-Mobile (11%). In Q2 Verizon Wireless continued their buy-one-get-one (BOGO) offers on all smartphones, including both RIM and Android models.

In spite of an overall decline in the number of mobile phones purchased year over year, the ongoing popularity of both messaging phones and smartphones, which are generally more costly than standard feature phones, resulted in slightly higher prices for all mobile phones in Q2. The average selling price for all mobile phones reached $90, which is a 3% increase since Q2 last year. Smartphone unit prices, by comparison, averaged $143 in Q2 2010, which is a 9% decrease over the previous year.

Tags: Google, Android, HTC, Motorola

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