A new survey by Nielsen shows that Android has been comforting its lead in smartphone market shares. According to the survey, within the last 3 months of the year, 56% of new smartphone buyers turned to Android, while only 28% chose an iOS device.

As the report notes, the preference of these new buyers are important because they often highlight a future trend in where the market is going…

The graph above also shows that during those 3 months, Apple still managed to acquire 3 times more new buyers than RIM did, and almost 5 times more than others, like Windows Phone.

So this is great news for Android, right? Well, yes, but not so fast.

What this report fails to highlight is that unlike Android, you can find iOS on only two smartphones: the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4. In comparison, Android comes in dozens of different flavors, across several manufacturers. In that sense, it’s much easier to sell more devices when you have more of those to offer from the start.

Also not present in this report is that there is probably a huge anticipation for the iPhone 5 among first smartphone buyers. They know Apple is coming with a new device and might just be waiting for it.

This is in no way an excuse for iOS’ performance compared to Android’s. Android has been leading the pack for quite some time now, and I’m sure Apple is fine with it. After all, the company is still making more money than all manufacturers combined.