Google Android Now the #1 Smartphone OS in America

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There's a new king of pocket-sized computers: Google Android is on top of BlackBerry for the first time the all-important smartphone race.

Google's Android operating system now owns a third of the US smartphone market, up 8 percentage points in just four months. BlackBerry is second at 30% and Apple's iOS third at 25%.

Don't confuse Android's market share in operating systems with dominance in the app space. Google's app store still has only about a third of the 350,000 programs in Apple's App Store. And Apple leads with 83% market share in smartphone apps.

But Google's gaining there, too. In a September poll of 2,000 developers, 60% responded that Android had a better long-term outlook than iOS. Another small data point suggesting Google's real emergence in the space comes from BusinessWeek, which notices that Android is spurring more app developer jobs than Apple for the first time this month, as well.

"Employers requested experience or skills with Android in 987 job postings on Dice as of Mar. 1, more than the 970 jobs asking for iPhone expertise," Douglas MacMillan writes. "The number of available positions mentioning either Android or iPhone surged more than threefold from a year ago, when the site listed 273 Android-related jobs and 312 iPhone-related jobs."

With the app market expected to grow by a factor of twenty in the next five years, this will be a race to watch:

According to a new report by Forrester Research, the app market will explode to a $38 billion industry by 2015, riding the huge growth in popularity of mobile devices from smartphones to tablets to whatever Apple dreams up next. In 2010, apps on these devices pulled in $1.7 billion globally, meaning the market will blossom exponentially in the coming years.

Read the full story at Fast Company.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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