Canalys & NPD: iPhone #1 Smartphone in U.S., Android #1 OS

Apple was the number one smartphone vendor in the U.S. during the 3rd quarter of 2010, while Android was the #1 smartphone OS, according to data from research firms Canalys and NPD. Both companies released reports for the October quarter Monday, reports that showed Android gaining popularity and Apple passing up Research in Motion (RIM) to take over second place.

Canalys pitched its results as Apple taking the lead in the U.S. smartphone market. According to the firm, Apple now has 26.2% of that market, ahead of #2 RIM’s 24%. On a global scale, Apple now has 17% of the worldwide market for the #2 spot, while Nokia claimed #1 with 33% and RIM came in at #3 with 15%.

When broken down by operating system, however, Android is the dominant OS with 43.6% of the U.S. market. Those sales are broken out over many vendors, however, explaining Apple’s #1 and RIM’s #2 standing in the vendor list.

“Apple ousted RIM from the top spot,” Canalys said in its report, “seizing a 26% share as iPhone shipments continued unabated. RIM has also launched its latest generation smart phone, the Torch, though it only saw half a quarter’s shipments in the US. But the plethora of smart phones running the Open Handset Alliance’s Android platform meant that Canalys’ final published country-level data shows that it took the lead in the U.S. market by operating system, with a 44% share.”

Canalys Chart

NPD focused more on the OS front, where it pitched its report as Android extending its smartphone market share during the quarter. The firm said that Android was the OS on 44% of smartphone shipped in the U.S., an increase of 11% just since the second quarter. d that

Apple’s iOS rose from 22% to 23% during the quarter for #2, while RIM’s BlackBerry OS was #3 with 22%, down from 28% in the second quarter. NPD stipulated that Android’s growth was coming out of RIM’s market share, and not Apple’s.

“Much of Android’s quarterly share growth came at the expense of RIM, rather than Apple,” Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, said in a statement. “The HTC EVO 4G, Motorola Droid X, and other new high-end Android devices have been gaining momentum at carriers that traditionally have been strong RIM distributors, and the recent introduction of the BlackBerry Torch has done little to stem the tide.”

The top phones during the quarter were:

  1. Apple iPhone 4 (smartphone)
  2. BlackBerry Curve 8500 series (smartphone)
  3. LG Cosmos (messaging phone)
  4. Motorola Droid X (smartphone)
  5. HTC EVO 4G (smartphone)

NPD also looked at year-over-year numbers and found that iOS market share declined 21%, while RIM’s declined some 53%. Mr. Rubin added, “There has not been much share left to grab from the other operating systems. The iPhone has held its own at AT&T, but Apple faces challenges in further expanding its domestic market share, while still retaining exclusivity.”