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Apple leads smartphone growth, Android draws 1st-timers

New statistics suggest Apple’s iPhones are the top-selling smartphones in the U.S., but more first-time smartphone buyers are opting for an Android device.

According to the NPD Group, Apple outsold Samsung and LG in the fourth quarter of 2011 to clinch 43 per cent of the U.S. smartphone market, in terms of sales.

Overall there were more Android devices sold, compared to iOS phones, with Google’s mobile operating system claiming 48 per cent share. But of the first-time buyers, people who couldn’t yet be bothered to get a smartphone, Android had 57 per cent market share.

While a faster processor and a better camera drew customers to the iPhone 4S, Android was helped with its competitively large app selection and availability on practically all the carriers.

Android is still incredibly popular and the top two selling Android handsets are from Samsung, but Android doesn't have the same following Apple's iPhone does, as made fun of in this hilarious Samsung Super Bowl commercial

The news isn’t so good for other smartphone platforms.

Combined, the others, including RIM and WP7,  squeezed out 9 per cent of the market share.

If you’re counting your pennies, the statistics don’t bode very well either. The average cost of a smartphone went up by $8.

The future is as exciting as a roller coaster ride. Nokia is rolling out more phones running the Windows Phone platform, while RIM is forging ahead to release better all-around phones.

Who do you think will be leading next time around?

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets



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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.