iPhone and Android equally desirable, says Nielsen

Android phones and iPhones are equally as popular with potential phone buyers, despite Android phones outselling iPhones.

In the popularity contest between Android phones and the iPhone its tie. A Nielsen survey found even though Android phones are currently outselling the iPhone, potential phone buyers are equally likely to want either platform.

Nielsen asked current mobile subscribers who planned to upgrade their phones in the next year what platform they desired most. Apple's iPhone came out slightly ahead, with 30 per cent of respondents, compared to 28 per cent for Android. Nielsen considers this a tie.

Blackberry was far behind, with 13 per cent of respondents saying they wanted RIM's phone. Windows Mobile had six per cent desirability, but because the survey ended in October, it likely didn't account for the launch of Windows Phone 7.

Android's ability to hang with the iPhone in desirability bodes well for Google if Verizon Wireless picks up the iPhone next year, as rumored. While previous surveys have shown that Verizon customers would stampede towards the iPhone, Nielsen's survey suggests that Android will still be a popular choice among smartphone buyers.

Still, if consumers get what they want according to this survey, the iPhone will stop bleeding market share to Android and the two platforms will rise at a similar pace. It'll be interesting to see how Windows Phone 7 influences the race.

Some other interesting findings from Nielsen's survey:

* In current market share, the iPhone and Blackberry are neck-and-neck at roughly 27 per cent. Android has 23 per cent share. Smartphones, Nielsen said, account for nearly 30 per cent of the mobile market.

* Women desire the iPhone over Android, 31 per cent to 23 per cent. More men want Android, 33 per cent to 29 per cent. This isn't surprising given the manly ads promoting Droid.

* Roughly six per cent more people ages 55 and older want an iPhone, but the ratio is fairly even throughout other age groups. The older the person, the less decisive; More than a quarter of people ages 55 and up were unsure what they wanted buy next.

* Current smartphone owners were seven per cent more likely to want an iPhone, and feature phone owners were three per cent more likely to want Android. This makes sense given that the iPhone is leading in market share, and iPhone owners love to upgrade.

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Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
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