The battle between Apple and Google in the mobile space has been heating up lately, but new market share numbers from research firm Nielsen show the race isn't even close.
According to a report released late Friday that compares the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, Apple's iPhone OS has more than triple the market share Google's Android operating system has. Nielsen puts the iPhone OS market share at 28 percent, while Android's is at 9 percent.
The numbers put Apple in second place behind BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, which has a 35 percent share. In third place is Microsoft Windows Mobile with 19 percent, followed by Google, Palm (4 percent), Linux (3 percent), and Symbian (2 percent).
Apple and Google both moved up by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2010. In the same period, RIM and Microsoft both lost 2 percent market share.
The study also shows that iPhone and Android users are very loyal to their brands. Nielsen says 80 percent of iPhone users want their next device to run the iPhone OS and 70 percent of Android users want another Android phone. Those numbers drop to 47 percent and 34 percent for RIM and Windows Mobile, respectively.
Overall, Nielsen says the smartphone market has grown considerably. In the second quarter of 2009 smartphones accounted for 16 percent of the total mobile phone market, while in the first quarter of 2010 they accounted for 23 percent of the market.