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Apple's iPhone market share three times greater than Android in US

A new survey of U.S. smartphone owners found that 28 percent use a device running the iPhone OS, compared with just 9 percent on Google's Android mobile operating system.

The data released this week by Nielsen shows Apple as the No. 2 smartphone maker in a poll of 11,724 users. Apple gained 2 percent in market share in the first quarter of 2010, compared with the previous quarter. The top smartphone, Research in Motion's BlackBerry, lost 2 percent in the same frame to sit at 35 percent.

Apple is ahead of Windows Mobile, which had a 19 percent market share in the first quarter, down 2 percent from the previous quarter. Google's Android came in fourth, with 9 percent. Palm took fifth with 4 percent, Linux sixth with 3 percent, and Nokia's Symbian came in seventh in the U.S> with 2 percent.

The study found that both Android and iPhone users are mostly male, but those on Android are typically younger, less wealthy and less educated. The survey discovered that 28 percent of Android users earned more than $100,000 a year, while 40 percent of iPhone users were in that income bracket. The average for all smartphones has 34 percent of users earning six-figure salaries.

Both iPhone and Android users are extremely loyal to their brands. Nielsen found that 80 percent of iPhone users want their next device to run the same operating system. Similarly, 70 percent of Android users said they will stick with Android for their next device.

The rest of the competition falls far behind, with just 47 percent of BlackBerry users looking to stick with a Research in Motion handset. And 34 percent of Windows Mobile users said they would stick with the same operating system in their next phone.

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But Android users are also twice as likely to try the iPhone than iPhone users are likely to try Android. Among those surveyed, 14 percent of Android users said they would switch to an iPhone, while 7 percent of iPhone users said they would buy an Android device instead.

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The Nielsen data shows Apple with an even greater lead over Android than the AdMob data released in late May. That study found that iPhone OS devices are twice as large as Android in the U.S., and 3.5 times greater globally.

The data shows that use of the iPhone has persisted in the market, helping Apple to keep its commanding lead over Android, even as sales of Android devices have grown significantly. Last month, the NPD Group declared that Android phones, available on a variety of devices and on multiple carriers, were collectively outselling Apple's iPhone in the U.S.

Last week, Nielsen released a "State of Mobile Apps" survey, which found that Apple had a vast lead in the mobile application market. That survey of more than 4,200 people found that iPhone users had an average of 37 applications, which was significantly more than the 22 applications had by Android users.