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Apple, Google, RIM Locked in 3-Way Tie for Smartphone Market Share

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Two charts via the Nielsen blog worth considering. The first, and the one most frequently mentioned in the media, shows the three-way tie between Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG) and Research in Motion (RIMM) in mobile phone operating system share as of the fourth quarter of 2010.

The second chart, however, paints a slightly different picture. Of those who purchased a smartphone in the past six months, the Android is clearly the leader in gaining market share, with 43 percent over the past six months compared to 26 percent for Apple iOS and just 20 percent for Blackberry RIM.

For some reason Nielsen goes on the breakdown the market share by race and ethnicity. Asian's seem to have a strong preference for Apple iPhone OS (36%), while African Americans seem to prefer RIM Blackberry OS (31%). We have no idea what that means.
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