NPD Group: Android momentum will boost flailing Motorola

As Android continues to dominate U.S. smartphone market share month after month, a new report argues that this momentum will be the key to saving Motorola.

Android has been at the top of the leader board of the U.S. smartphone market share for months now. Most recently, comScore posted results earlier this month for the three-month period ending with June, which saw Google's mobile operating system increase 5.4 percent to garner 40.1 percent of the overall market share.

It is that rapid growth and popularity which could be the key to save "flagging" Motorola Mobility, which was purchased last week, according to a new report from the NPD Group.

At first, that seems like a bit of a stretch as even NPD Group acknowledged that both Samsung and LG made significant gains against Motorola in the last year, and that is based on Android-powered handsets alone.

However, let's not forget about how much power Google will have with an in-house manufacturing unit now and the influence that could have over its other mobile OEM partners -- most of which delivered rather force fed and form letter-like responses in the face of the acquisition announcement last week.

Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD, explained in a statement:

Google's acquisition of Motorola shifts the balance of power in the handset-patent conflict between Google and its operating system competitors. Android's momentum has made for a large pie that is attractive to Motorola's Android rivals, even if they must compete with their operating system developer.

Motorola's only other strong option is to go the prepaid route, which is gaining in popularity given the unstable economic climate and more consumers who don't want to be tied to a two-year contract. Both Google and Motorola have already shown a strong interest in this arena with the announcement of the Android 2.2-based Motorola Triumph for Virgin Mobile that was unveiled earlier this summer.