Nielsen: Android Popularity Outpaced iOS in August

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Feeling pretty right-on about your Android phone these days? So do plenty of your fellow Americans, it sounds like, according to another one of Nielsen’s monthly surveys.

This one, conducted in August, found that 43% of all U.S. smartphone owners have an Android device. Not bad, but change up the question and timeframe, and you find that—of those that snagged a new smartphone in the past three months—over half (56%) say they selected an Android phone. Nielsen adds, albeit superfluously, that “[the] preferences of these so-called ‘recent acquirers’ are important as they are often a leading indicator of where the market is going.” No kidding.

(LIST: Top 20 Must-Have Android Apps)

In second place, Apple’s iOS, with 28% of the smartphone subscriber total, on par with its slice of the “three month recent acquirers” pie, which indicates iOS sales aren’t increasing but holding steady. Expect that to change (you know, on the order of an atomic explosion) when the iPhone 5 goes live, as it’s rumored to, sometime next month.

Another intriguing if not altogether mind-blowing point: Nielsen finds that the size of the overall smartphone pie is growing because more people are choosing smartphones over “feature” phones. Nielsen says that while 43% of all surveyed had a smartphone in August, 56% said they’d selected a smartphone (over a “feature” phone) in the past three months, another clear upswing.

Note also the rapidly shrinking demand for Blackberry and “other” devices. RIM smartphones accounted for 18% or nearly one-fifth of total smartphone share, but among three month recent acquirers, fell to under 10%.

Look for the usual holiday spikes in sales of all of the above, though with contract-related caveats. Unless you can find a clever way out of yours, especially if you’re already committed to a pricier smartphone deal, chances are you’ll end up waiting, however much you’d prefer the new toys over your old ones.

MORE: GameStop to Launch Its Own Android Gaming Tablet in 2012

Matt Peckham is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @mattpeckham or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME‘s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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