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Android tops BlackBerry, iPhone grows in US smartphone OS share

Google Android ousted Research in Motion's BlackBerry platform as the top-selling smartphone operating system in the U.S. for June quarter, while Apple's iPhone —available in just two models and on one carrier —took third.

Apple's iOS accounted for 22 percent of all domestic smartphone sales in the second calendar quarter of 2010, according to new data from the NPD Group released Wednesday. Android, for the first time ever, was the top mobile operating system with a 33 percent share. Research in Motion's BlackBerry OS took second, with 28 percent.

"For the second consecutive quarter, Android handsets have shown strong but slowing sell-through market share gains among U.S. consumers," said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD. "While the Google-developed OS took market share from RIM, Apple's iOS saw a small gain this quarter on the strength of the iPhone 4 launch."

The top-selling Android phone in the second quarter was the Motorola Droid, followed by five phones from HTC: Droid Incredible, EVO 4G, Hero and Droid Eris.

RIM hopes to regain some footing with its newly-announced BlackBerry Torch. The new handset features a multi-touch screen and a slide-out keyboard, but its display could hurt it, Rubin said.

"Blackberry 6 will soon offer features that have been popular in recently launched Android handsets, such as support for capacitive touchscreens and a WebKit-based browser," he said. "However, the Blackberry Torch lacks the large screen allure that has characterized the best selling Android devices at its price point, including the Droid Incredible and EVO 4G."

Helping to push Android sales were promotional deals where customers can buy one, get one free. Verizon Wireless, the largest carrier in the U.S., had a 33 percent units sold share in the quarter, based on the strength of its buy one, get one promotional offers on all RIM and Android models.

AT&T, the exclusive carrier of Apple's iPhone in the U.S., was number two in the quarter, with 25 percent of all unit sales. Sprint followed in third with 12 percent, and T-Mobile was the last of the biggest domestic carriers at 11 percent.

The iPhone last quarter single-handedly brought 860,000 new customers to AT&T, as the carrier activated a record 3.2 million iPhones in the June period. The global launch of the iPhone 4 resulted in 1.7 million sales in the first three days, the single largest product launch in Apple's history.