NPD's Mobile Phone Track posted a press release yesterday stating that their research indicates that in Q1 2010, more Android handsets were sold to consumers than iPhones in the US. This puts the Android platform into the number two spot with 28 percent of handset purchases, behind industry leader RIM's 36 percent share of new smartphone purchases thanks to their Blackberry line.
This is an important step if the Android OS is to take the lion's share of the smartphone market. Now that we have Android smartphones on the big four US carriers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint), it was inevitable that sales across four carriers would surpass the iPhone on just AT&T.
The NPD report cites strong sales of the Droid and Droid Eris on Verizon, as well as Verizon's buy-one-get-one offer as a key part of Android's rise in popularity. AndroidCentral adds that the release of Verizon's newest HTC Android phone is likely to give "strong numbers again in the second quarter with the launch of the Droid Incredible. "
The real question now, is how long will the iPhone remain an AT&T exclusive? Engadget is reporting that Apple and AT&T signed a five-year deal that reportedly does not end till May 21st, 2012. Can Apple afford to keep the iPhone locked to a single U.S. carrier while Android adoption continues to rise?