Android runs down iPhone in the Smartphone Races

Blackberry is still number one, but Android has passed the iPhone iOS for second place in the race to the top of the smartphone operating system hill.

Yes, Apple's iPhone is popular, and yes it looks like Verizon is finally going to release an iPhone, but Android phones have turned out to be even more popular.

In its latest survey of U.S. mobile phone industry during the three month average period ending November 2010, comScore reported that while RIM continued to lead among smartphone platforms with 33.5 percent market share, Android charged past the iPhone to take second place. To be exact, Google Android captured the number two spot in November with 26.0 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers. Apple took third with 25.0 percent; followed by Microsoft with 9.0 percent and Palm in the back with 3.9 percent.

What’s more telling, though, is that while the iPhone only grabbed 0.8% more of the market, Android snatched an additional 6.4%. RIM and Microsoft took the lumps with the Blackberry losing 4.1% and Microsoft dropping 1.8%.

Of course, in the bigger scheme of things, no one, except HP/Palm, was hurting that much. 61.5 million people in the U.S., at the end of November 2010, now own a smartphone. That's more than a 10 percent gain from the preceding quarter.

Still, it’s become clear then ever that Android, with its multiple vendors, and despite developer concerns over its multiple platforms, is becoming the hot smartphone operating system. The iPhone, which has its own open-source concerns now about its applications, certainly has its fans, but the smartphone market is clearly moving to Android.

The next question isn’t whether the iPhone will catch up with Android--that seems almost impossible--but when Android will finally climb past RIM’s declining Blackberry.