Report: Apple closing the Android smartphone gap

The recent high-profile launch of Cupertino’s long-awaited iPhone 4S had a significant impact on the proportion of smartphone owners who chose to purchase an Apple handset.

Indeed, a recent survey conducted by Nielsen confirms that 44.5% of those polled in December said they chose an iPhone, compared to just 25.1% in October.

Meanwhile, 57% of new iPhone owners surveyed in December said they purchased an iPhone 4S.

Although Apple’s iOS continues to gain market share, Android is still the undisputed champion, with 46.3% of all smartphone owners surveyed in Q42011 owning a mobile phone powered by Google’s wildly popular OS.

Additional highlights from the latest Nielsen mobile report include:

  • 46% of US mobile consumers own a smartphone.
  • 60% percent of those who purchased a new handset over the last three months chose a smartphone over a feature phone.
The majority of smartphone owners (62%) have downloaded apps on their devices – with games rated as the top application category used in the past 30 days.
  • The number of smartphone subscribers accessing the Internet on their devices has increased 45% since 2010.
  • 87% of app downloaders (those who have downloaded an app in the past 30 days) have used deal-of-the-day websites like Groupon or Living Social.
  • Younger groups text the most. In Q3, teens 13-17 sent and received the most text messages (an average of 3,417 each month).