It’s official: Android is now the most popular smartphone OS

It’s official! Android is now rated the most popular operating system amongst consumers who purchased a smartphone over the past six months.

Meanwhile, according to Nielsen, BlackBerry (RIM) and Apple iOS are locked in a “statistical” dead head for second place.

Nevertheless, Blackberry still holds the dominant market share at 31 percent, though its lead over Apple is rapidly declining.

Indeed, twenty-eight percent of smartphone owners currently have Apple iPhones, compared to 19 percent who boast Android devices.

So, what does all this mean for Android and the burgeoning smartphone market?

Well, Jennifer Valentino-DeVries of the Wall Street Journal notes that Android’s meteoric rise puts significant pressure on Apple to make its iPhone available on US carriers besides AT&T.

“Customers who are reluctant to use AT&T now have more options, and Apple is currently ceding that market segment to Android,” explained DeVries.

“Back when Apple was the only game in town, it clearly held the upper hand in negotiations with carriers.

“[And] Verizon has long said it wanted to carry the iPhone. But now, with Android, such a deal might be more important for Apple than it is for Verizon.”