Apple and Android always duke it out in smartphone statistics. The latest Nielsen market share data says no differently.

From a poll conducted in November of 2010, U.S. smartphone market share is dominated by iOS at 28.6%. iOS is followed by Blackberry at 26.1%, and Android at 25.8%. These numbers are U.S. only, but it is interesting to see how iOS and Android are battling for smartphone dominance.

Depending on how you look at things, the iPhone retains the lead in smartphone market share. However, Android is having greater growth with new smartphone adopters. This means that more people are buying an Android for their next smartphone, and not the iPhone…

When it comes to overall consumer market share, Android is still behind iOS. However, if you look at the statistic of smartphones bought within the last 6 months (as of November 2010), Android is leading the American race at 40.8%. iOS is following at 26.9%.

This number shows a steady increase in Android’s growth since June of last year. RIM has been sitting comfortably in the middle of all these numbers. The Nielsen report says,

“RIM Blackberry’s position is less clear: Its share (26.1%) puts it within the margin of error of both Apple iOS and Android. In other words, RIM remains statistically tied with both Apple for first and Android for third. Apple’s clear lead over Android notwithstanding, this race might still be too close to call.”

While the tech industry always says that Android and iOS are fighting for dominance, the numbers say otherwise. While it may be true that Android and iOS are the two main competitors for innovation (numbers don’t mean everything), RIM is still making a huge dent in recent smartphone sales.

It’s worth noting that carriers have been trying to push Android phones like crazy with substantial device subsidies, ad campaigns, promotions and deals. Financially speaking, it makes sense for a family of four to all buy Android phones instead of iPhones. Apple doesn’t allow AT&T to include the iPhone in hardware discounts and other promotions like every other phone, so the iPhone is usually sold at full price. (Although there have been a few discounts.)

With Apple currently being on only one carrier, while Android and Blackberry are on all of them, it’s amazing that iOS is as dominant as it is. It really speaks to the quality of the platform. And when the iPhone does eventually move to Verizon, who knows how the numbers will change.

Another interesting fact that these Nielsen numbers share, “In November, 45 percent of recent acquirers chose a smartphone over a feature phone.”

It’s nice to know that the RAZR is not as popular anymore.

What do you think about these numbers? Does it surprise you that Android’s adoption rate is larger than iOS’s?

[via Nielsen Wire]