NPD: Android finally outselling iPhone

The open source Google Android mobile platform has passed Apple as the No. 2 smartphone OS during Q1 2010, the NPD Group noted, as the smartphone market continues to heat up.

Research In Motion (RIM) still led the market with 36% marketshare, but Android made a surprising jump and ended the quarter with 28 percent marketshare.  Apple is now in the No. 3 position with 21 percent marketshare, though all three of the companies could switch places over the next three quarters.

NPD: Android finally outselling iPhone

AT&T leads other wireless providers with 32% smartphone market share, with Verizon trailing in the No. 2 spot with 30% control.  T-Mobile has 17% and Sprint has just 15% of the market, as both companies continue to struggle against AT&T and Verizon.

Both RIM and Google have their software on multiple products, while Apple has its software only on the iPhone.

“As in the past, carrier distribution and promotion have played a crucial role in determining smartphone market share,” said Ross Rubin, NPD Executive Director of Industry Analysis, in a statement.  “In order to compete with the iPhone, Verizon Wireless has expanded its buy-one-get-one offer beyond RIM devices to now include all of their smartphones.”

Since AT&T reportedly has exclusivity to the iPhone for another two years, it’s a wise move for Verizon to find new ways to attract customers.  Verizon loses out by offering smartphones for a lower cost — or for free — but locks subscribers into two-year phone contracts that include pricey data plans.