Smartphone duopoly, anyone? Source: Nielsen

There is no shortage of surveys proving that Apple’s smartphone market share has benefited from strong iPhone 4S reception thus far. A new report published this morning by reputable research firm Nielsen is another indication of Apple halting Android’s seemingly unstoppable rise as a growing number of United States consumers pick iPhones over other smartphones. Based on a poll of recent acquirers —among those who said they got a new device within the past three months— Nielsen found out that 44.5-percent chose an iPhone while 46.9-percent picked an Android phone. Contrast these figures to just 25.1-percent for Apple in October and 61.1-percent for Android.

Furthermore, 57 percent of new iPhone owners surveyed in December said they got an iPhone 4S. […] The high-profile launch of Apple’s iPhone 4S in the Fall had an enormous impact on the proportion of smartphone owners who chose an Apple iPhone.

Therefore, while fewer people bought an Android device in December compared to a month earlier, Apple substantially increased its share among recent smartphone acquirers. These findings are understandable given that iPhone 4S was announced on Oct. 4, 2011 and it became available 10 days later, selling 4 million units during the launch weekend. Pent-up demand and wider price gamut certainly did help boost domestic iPhone sales as did the fact that Sprint and local carriers Claro Puerto Rico and C Spire Wireless finally landed the device.

According to Nielsen, 46 percent of U.S. mobile consumers had smartphones as of the fourth quarter of last year and 60 percent of those who said they bought a new device within the last three months chose a smartphone over a feature phone. Nielsen’s survey corroborates recent market research by other firms. Specifically, NPD also found out that iPhone 4S during October to November 2011 boosted Apple’s U.S. smartphone share from 26 percent to 43 percent for all smartphone sales. Meanwhile, Android devices recorded a drop, going from 60 percent in October to 47 percent for all smartphone sales in the United States in December.

Also important, Millennial in December reported that iOS went from 28 percent ad requests in October to 30 percent in November, and Android went from 56 percent ad requests in October to 50 percent in November. Moreover, ChangeWave Research discovered that half of planned smartphone purchases in the next 90 days favor Apple, with both the iPhone maker and rival Samsung enjoying “explosive momentum” whilst other handset makers are struggling to grow their sales.

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