Smartphones now outsell feature phones in the U.S according to a new report from research firm Nielsen.


Nielsen's May survey of mobile consumers found among those respondents who purchased a new handset in the past three months, 55% bought a smartphone instead of a feature phone, up from 34 percent just a year ago.

While the Android operating system was the most the popular choice among buyers during the March to May time frame, it was the Apple iPhone which showed the biggest growth in market share.

Android was the choice of 27% of buyers in the March to May time frame, the same as reported by Nielsen in the previous three months. Apple meantime jumped from 10% in February to 17% in May. Apple's gain came primarily from RIM which saw its share fall from 11% to 6%. (See chart below)

Overall Smartphone Ownership in U.S. and Canada

Nielsen also reported that 38% of mobile consumers in the U.S. now own a smartphone while 62% own a feature phone. Android continues to be the most popular smartphone operating system among all owners with 38% of American smartphone consumers owning Android devices followed by Apple (27%), Blackberry (21%), and Windows Mobile (9%). The remaining 5% was made up of Symbian, WebOS, Palm OS, Windows Phone 7 and other operatind systems.

In Canada, a March survey the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) report found that 33% of mobile consumers owned a smartphone .

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