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Nielsen says Apple is holding onto the smartphone lead for now

New numbers from Nielsen research show Apple still in the top spot in US smartphone sales. Android numbers continue to surge, while BlackBerry is declining.

Citing November 2010 data, Nielsen says Apple has 28.6 percent of the domestic smartphone market, up ever so slightly from 27.9 percent in October. BlackBerry has slipped to 26.1 percent, while Android has amassed a 25.8 percent share.

Even more interesting is data that says of those buying a smartphone in the last 6 months, 40.8 percent bought Android phones, while iOS phones had a 26.9 percent share, RIM grabbed 19.2 percent of the new buyers for its BlackBerry phones.

What the numbers will do when, as expected, the iPhone comes to Verizon early this year is harder to predict. If the trends continue, it's likely Android will be in the smartphone numbers lead soon, but many analysts continue to predict Apple will remain number 1 in profitability.