Android market share topples Blackberry

It was only a matter of time, not a matter of if, Google’s Android operating system would become the dominate mobile platform. That time is now.

According to the very latest data from Nielsen, Android now commands a 29% market share of smartphone users in the US. While that isn’t even close to being a majority, it is a plurality that topples all of its competitors.

Meanwhile, Blackberry has fallen to 27% and Apple’s iOS platform remains largely flat at 27% as well, where it has seemed to comfortably sit for a while.

Bringing up the read was Windows Phone 7 at 10%, Palm OS at 4%, and Nokia’s antiquated Symbian with 2%, thanks only to people who have legacy Nokia phones as there are no current Symbian smartphones on the market in the US.

This is a cataclysmic event, as it brings Android ahead of a platform that for years was the leading smartphone software. Blackberry’s operating system became so ubiquitous with business that it seemed impossible to ever dethrone it from the top spot in overall market share. After all, companies would buy Blackberry phones in bulk, sometimes hundreds or even thousands at a time.

No one really expected enterprise customers to start switching over, en masse, to the new consumer platforms of Android and iOS, but that’s exactly what it happening. Blackberry had managed to hold onto its #1 title for a while, but that was only because it had such a commanding lead. The company behind Blackberry, Research in Motion, has been sloughing off market share for over a year. In just the past 12 months it has dropped double-digit market share thanks mostly to Android. The iPhone hasn’t really advanced much, but it isn’t falling either.

Apple still has a pretty nice lead in the tablet market, though that may change as 2011 gets into full swing and a number of anticipated Android tablets hit store shelves.