Android smartphone market share declines slightly

Handsets powered by Google’s popular Android operating system have apparently lost some ground to Apple’s iPhone in the lucrative US smartphone space.

Indeed, Android’s market share declined by four points on an annual basis to 56 percent during the second quarter of 2012. Meanwhile, general smartphone shipments fell 5 percent annually to reach 24 million units. 

Researchers at Strategy Analytics attributed the rather salient decline to a volatile economy and the maturing penetration of smartphones among contract mobile subscribers.

Major operators tightening their upgrade policies to enhance profits were also blamed as a cause for the slowdown.

Despite Android’s slight drop, Google’s OS remains the number one platform by volume in the United States – even though its market share is peaking as Apple iOS gains ground.

To be sure, Cupertino’s US market share increased by ten points from 23 percent in Q2 2011 to 33 percent in Q2 2012. 

“Apple is rumored to be launching a new iPhone in the coming weeks, and that event, if it takes place, is going to heap even more pressure on Android in its home market,” researchers at Strategy Analytics concluded.

Unsurprisingly, RIM’s Blackberry also registered a sharp drop in the US mobile market, plummeting from 11 percent to 7 percent over the past year  and reaching its lowest level in recent history.

According to Strategy Analytics, consumers, businesses and operators continue to be frustrated by Blackberry’s limited toushcreen smartphone portfolio and repeated delays in rolling out its new BB10 operating system.