Android Still Most Popular Smartphone OS, iOS Holds Steady In Second Place

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According to new data from Nielsen, Android has continued to pick up steam in the United States, and retains its crown as the most-used smartphone OS during Q3 2011. Google’s mobile OS now accounts for 43% of U.S. smartphones, up from the 39% we saw back in July. Apple’s iOS, on the other hand, has remained lock-steady at 28% this whole time, putting it at a distant second.

Despite their lack of growth on the software front, Apple still rules the roost when it comes to hardware. Apple’s iPhones are used by a full 28% of all smartphone customers, making them the top manufacturer for yet another quarter.

Meanwhile, use of RIM’s BlackBerry OS has slowly begun to slip: while it previously accounted for 20% of the smartphone OS market, it now accounts for 18%. Certainly not a drastic dip, but the Q3 report doesn’t take into account some of the more recent unpleasantness that the folks in Waterloo have been dealing with.

Surprisingly, Windows Phone’s adoption rate seems to have slowed down as well, as it now only accounts for 7% of smartphones, down from the 9% figure we saw last time. Microsoft and Nokia certainly aim to change that come next year, but we’ll soon see how well their grand designs pan out.

The Q3 results are definitely interesting, but I think the Q4 report is really the one to look out for. New hardware (and OS) announcements are coming at a blistering pace, and it’ll be a hoot to see how the landscape changes after the holiday retail wars have come and gone.