Android at 50%: Is the Platform Surging or Stumbling?

There are two contradictory memes in the market about Android. One is that the platform is surging toward world domination; the competing narrative is that Android is losing adherents and is faltering.

ComScore boosted the first narrative today with a release (based on survey data) that shows Android crossing the 50% threshold in February. In other words, 50% of US smartphones now are Android handsets. 

Interestingly comScore's data show only 44% US smartphone penetration, while Nielsen shows 50%

In addition, Nielsen and financial analysts from Canaccord Genuity claim that the iPhone is "clawing its way back" among recent purchasers and closing the gap with Android. The Q1 2012 Appcelerator also appears to show mobile app developers losing some interest in Android. 

Screen shot 2012-03-20 at 8.44.59 AM

These indicators suggest Android is losing some momentum, although the comScore data directly contradict that assertion. Regardless, it's clear that Android is on its way to replacing Nokia as the leading smartphone platform globally.

The comScore report also confirms the accelerating decline of RIM and shows that US consumers are not buying Windows Phones. We'll see what happens after the massive marketing campaign that's about to be unleashed by AT&T, Nokia and Microsoft.