When I blogged this morning about, I said that the mobile wars are fast-paced and new data is arriving more or less continuously. Yup. Here's another revealing tidbit that was published just today: The latest sales figures for specific smartphone models.
Here are the five top-selling smartphones in the U.S. for the third quarter of 2011, as ranked by research firm NPD:
That's a real triumph for Apple: Its two iPhones competed with dozens of Android handsets, including some that sell for little or nothing on contract, and beat all of them.
The iPhone 4S hadn't yet gone on sale during the time period NPD tracked. Presumably, Apple has a shot at having three of the top five phones in the fourth quarter, now that the iPhone 4S starts at $199 on contract, the iPhone 4 goes for $99, and the iPhone 3GS is a freebie. We'll see.
If you're the type who's looking for signs that Android has decisively stolen iOS's crown as the preeminent mobile operating system, these sales of specific handset models are worth monitoring. If the day comes when one or more Android phones outsell any flavor of iPhone, it'll be a meaningful moment. Any predictions on whether that'll happen anytime soon?