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iPhone, Android "most desired" smartphones for upgraders in the U.S.

Here's a little analyst-based hint for those of you not sure what to get your smartphone-obsessed loved one this holiday season.

According to a survey released by Nielsen, 29.7 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers now have smartphones (with Apple, RIM and Android taking the lion's share). Android's market share certainly has been growing, though, with RIM apparently losing out the most.

However, out of all the regular mobile phone users who are planning to upgrade to a smartphone, when asked what platform they are most likely to upgrade to in the next year, both Apple's iPhone and Android were on a near par for the "most desired" smartphone operating system with Apple just pipping Android to the post.

Apparently, for those planning to upgrade to a smart phone in the next year, it seems women tend to prefer the iPhone more while men, and those in the 35 - 54 age bracket, have a slightly greater tendency towards the Android variety.

Nielsen summarizes its findings into the following four points:

  • Among users planning to get a new smartphone, current smartphone owners showed a preference for the Apple iPhone (35 percent), while 28 percent of both smartphone and featurephone planned smartphone upgraders indicated they wanted a device with an Android operating system as their next mobile phone.
  • Featurephone owners planning to get a smartphone are less likely to have made up their mind about the OS they will choose: 25 percent were "not sure" what their next desired OS might be compared to 13 percent of smartphone owners. Those over 55 were markedly less certain than younger mobile users, with 27.8 saying they weren't sure what kind of device they wanted next, compared to 12.2 percent of those 18 to 24.
  • Apple's iPhone and devices with the Android operating system were the "most desired" among likely smartphone upgraders, with Apple showing a slight lead among those age 55+ , 18 to 24, and 25 to 34.
  • Women planning to get a smartphone are more likely to want an iPhone as their next device, with slightly more males preferring Android.

So, with all that information, you should have no problem choosing how to best please your loved one with the right smartphone gift this year. Naturally, here at TUAW, we'd suggest the slightly more fruity variety, but hey, the stats are in front of you.

For the full Nielsen report click here.

[via CNN Fortune]