Apple 2.0

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iPhone dominates Nielsen's 'brownie pan' smartphone chart

July 28, 2011: 8:00 AM ET

Android, at 39%, is OS No. 1 in the U.S. But Apple, with 28%, is the No. 1 manufacturer

Click to enlarge. Source: Nielsen

If you're having trouble interpreting the chart of the U.S. smartphone market released Thursday by Nielsen, think of it as a brownie pan, a spokesman helpfully suggests, not a pie.

And depending how you slice the brownies, Apple (AAPL) is either No. 2 or No. 1 in the U.S.

When all the Android phones are combined, Google's (GOOG) smartphone operating system is the clear leader. But because so many manufacturers are competing for a share of the Android brownie, and only Apple can make an iPhone, Apple is America's leading smartphone manufacturer. By a chewy mouthful.

The details (based on a survey of 20,202 Americans in Q2 2011):

  • Android has 39% of the U.S. market
  • The iPhone has 28% (iPads and iPod touches not included)
  • Research in Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry is down to 20%
  • HTC is tied with RIM at 20%, divided between Android (14%) and various Microsoft (MSFT) Windows smartphones (6%)
  • Motorola (MOT) is down to 11%
  • Samsung has 10%, divided between Android (8%) and Windows (2%)
  • Nokia (NOK) and Palm (HPQ) are those thin slices on the right with 2% apiece
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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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