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The Android mobile operating system has come a long way in the past few months. According to a December 2009 consumer survey by ChangeWave Research, both usage of and preference for Android by smartphone users in the US has shot up since a previous September 2009 survey.

Android Usage, Preference Levels Dramatically Increase

Among respondents who currently own a smartphone, usage of Android increased 200%, from 1% to 4%, between September and December 2009. In addition, among respondents planning to buy a new smartphone in the next 90 days, 21% would prefer to purchase a phone running Android. This is a 250% increase from the 6% of respondents expressing the same preference in September 2009.


In September 2009, Android tied Palm as the least-preferred operating system among respondents planning to buy a smart phone in the next 90 days. By December 2009, Android had jumped to the second-most preferred, trailing iPhone OS X with a 28% preference rating. Some of Android’s growth came at the expense of iPhone OS X, which also held the top preference spot in September 2009 with a higher 32% preference rating.


Android Popularity Benefits Motorola

Cellphone manufacturer Motorola has seen its popularity among consumers planning to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days rise even more dramatically than that of Android. While only 1% of respondents in this category said they planned to buy a Motorola phone in September 2009; that percentage jumped to 13% in December 2009, elevating Motorola from least popular to third-most popular choice of five leading smartphone manufacturers. The popularity of HTC climbed from 5% to 9% in the same time period, leaving it as the fourth-most popular choice. Both manufacturers offer a version of the Droid smartphone, which runs on Android.


Meanwhile, Palm lost half of its future market share, dropping from 8% to 4%, and slipping from third-most popular to least popular. The top two choices, Apple iPhone and RIM/Blackberry, kept their positions, but both lost future market share percentage. Apple iPhone dropped from 36% to 32%, and RIM/Blackberry dropped from 27% to 21%.

Android Growth Bodes Well for Customer-Focused Retailers

Retailers who offer competitive prices and have favorable customer reviews stand to benefit from the increasing interest smart phone users have in Android. As reported by Marketing Charts, according to the Q309 results from‘s Smartphone Intelligence study, 43% of Android users are most likely to check sale prices at alternative locations from their mobile phones while they are shopping. The second-most-likely activity is accessing consumer reviews, with 31% of Android owners investigating reviews from their handset before they purchase.

About the research: The ChangeWave Alliance Research Network is a group of 25,000 business, technology and medical professionals – as well as early adopter consumers – who work in leading companies of select industries. ChangeWave surveys its network members weekly on a range of business and consumer topics, and converts the information into a series of proprietary quantitative and qualitative reports.

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