The Smartphone battlefield – who’ll be the winner?

Given the ever-expanding lineup and ever-increasing popularity of Android-powered smartphones, it was inevitable that the Google-backed mobile operating system would surpass sales of Apple’s rival iPhone sooner and later. And that time is now.

According to the Nielsen Company Android devices accounted for 27 percent of U.S. smartphone sales in the U.S. during the first half of 2010, four percentage points higher than the iPhone. However Apple’s iPhone is still the dominant smartphone in Europe, accounting for more of the market than any other provider. The rise and fall of each of these platforms are determined by major product announcements/launches.

But even though Android sales are skyrocketing, the iPhone remains in the center of consumers’ attention. Nielsen notes that 89 percent of current iPhone users plan to remain loyal to the iOS platform when the time comes to upgrade to a new device, with 21 percent of Android owners feel inclined to move to the Apple smartphone. Only 71 percent of Android users plan to stick with their current platform. Android may be closing the gap in terms of market share, but it still has some distance to go to catch the iPhone in terms of consumer mindshare.