U.S. sales of new smartphones running Android increased 24% in the first quarter from the fourth quarter, translating into 61% market share for the Google mobile operating system. That gain came at the expense of Apple’s iOS platform, whose smartphone share fell from 41% to 29% in the quarter, according to new data from The NPD Group.
Even so, year-over-year smartphone sales for both companies remained strong, representing 90% of smartphone sales, with Android picking up 20% in 2012 and Apple, 7%. Apple last week reported selling 35 million iPhones in its most recent quarter, down slightly from the 37 million sold during the last quarter of 2011.
The NPD research showed Apple dominated the ranking of individual handsets, with the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS holding on to the top three slots in the first quarter, followed by the Samsung Galaxy SII and HTC EVO3D. Apple as overall the top U.S. smartphone maker, with 29% of the market, though Samsung is catching up, with 24%. HTC was third, with 15%, followed by Motorola (10%), LG (7%) and BlackBerry (5%).