Of the top three smartphone operating systems, RIM’s Blackberry OS still enjoys the greatest of market share - but if trends continue this will change very soon.

New research from the Nielsen Company shows that when considering only purchases from the last six months, more consumers chose handsets with Google’s Android OS than that of either the iPhone or Blackberry.

For all current smartphone owners as of August 2010, Blackberry comes in first with 31 percent, followed closely by the iPhone at 28 percent, trailed by Android with only nineteen percent. But in the same month, recent acquirer rankings were very different - Android OS at 32 percent, Blackberry at 26 percent, iPhone nearly tied with RIM at 25 percent.

This follows what we learned back in February and March, when a big spike in Android adoption propelled Android’s new purchasing rate from fourteen percent to 26 percent. While that increase leveled off from April to June for the most part, it increased in July. This timing is of interest since it coincides with the release of the iPhone 4, as well as all of the disproportionate press regarding its sensitive antenna. This press must have done its damage, since iPhone purchases dropped from 26 to 25 percent in July, while Android purchases rose from 28 to 32 percent.

In the young and volatile smartphone market, these trends could easily change, and for now RIM and Apple can enjoy their top pl²aces in market share. But as Phandroid notes, Android’s proliferation of new devices means that they have a solid possibility of continuing to expand their marketability - they straddle the difference between high-end geek phone and user-friendly casual gadget.

By Ivory King