Android and iPhone Leads Consumer Interest

Ever since the debut of the first Android handset in 2008, Google’s mobile operating system has grown to become one of the leading mobile platforms out there.

Initially catapulted by the high-profile marketing of the Motorola Droid, Android has now essentially matched the iPhone when it comes to overall consumer interest. If recent trends are any indication, it won’t be long before Apple’s prized product will be left behind by Android phones.

The Android-iPhone study, conducted by independent research firm ChangeWave, looks at the mindsets of smartphone consumers planning to purchase new devices within the next 90 days. ChangeWave interviewed 4,000 people for the report.

The results show that 37 percent of prospective phone buyers want an Android in their pockets. That’s up 7 percent from the firm’s previous study in June and, as ChangeWave VP of Research Paul Carton puts it, represents “a six-fold increase in consumer preference for the Google OS” over the past year.

Thirty-eight percent of smartphone shoppers, meanwhile, currently have the iPhone in their sights. That’s down 12 percent from Apple’s level in June. You could write off the drop as being a result of the fading hype from the release of the iPhone 4, but the shift is nothing new. We saw the same sort of changes back in January, and the vast majority of analyses over the past year have indicated similar movements as well.

As for other smartphone platforms, RIM has remained relatively stable — the BlackBerry Torch, not surprisingly, doesn’t seem to be doing much to drum up consumer interest — and Windows Mobile is maintaining its position as a mere blip on the radar. Time will tell if the new Windows Phone 7 will give Microsoft any significant traction.

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