Even the iPhone 4 doesn't slow down Android adoption

The number of smartphone buyers who say they want an Android device is now equal to those seeking iPhones

Apple's rollout of the iPhone 4 in June temporarily slowed down demand for Google Android smartphones, but a new study shows consumers are again very hungry for Android devices.

ChangeWave Research, which last week released survey results showing explosive demand growth for Android among businesses, is now revealing findings from its mid-September consumer survey based on 4,000 responses. Of those people planning to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days, 37 percent said they would prefer to have the Android OS on the device. That's up from 30 percent in both March and June, and represents a six-fold increase from a year ago.

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Meanwhile, demand for the iPhone fell from 50 percent in June to 38 percent this time around. A drop-off was not unexpected since demand peeked when the iPhone 4 was debuting, says Paul Carton, VP of research for ChangeWave. "Back in June, the launch of the iPhone 4 temporarily slowed the meteoric rise of the Google Android operating system," Carton says. "But our latest survey shows the Android OS is once again making major advances in the smartphone market."

RIM's BlackBerry OS was in demand among just 6 percent of survey respondents, up from 5 percent in the last survey, perhaps given a little boost due to the BlackBerry Torch's rollout. (Though some ex-BlackBerry users have started to speak out about why they've switched to Android phones.)

One reason Android is on the rise is that customer satisfaction is relatively high, with 65 percent of those who own devices running Android OS saying they are very satisfied. Only Apple iPhone OS users are more pleased, with 74 percent being very satisfied. Only 31 percent of RIM BlackBerry OS users say they are very satisfied, putting them slightly behind Palm OS and WebOS users.

Android is on a major roll, with survey after survey in recent weeks pointing to growth even as new Android devices roll out (view our "Brief History of Android" slideshow).

ChangeWave reported last week that 60 percent more corporate IT buyers say they're buying Android devices since May, and Gartner predicts Android will beat out the BlackBerry and Apple's iOS by year-end to become the second-best selling mobile operating system worldwide behind Nokia's Symbian. ComScore's latest numbers show Android blowing by Windows Mobile in the U.S. to rank as the third most popular mobile OS. 

Meanwhile, big tech players such as Amazon.com and Verizon are throwing their support behind Android by rolling out app stores

And a sure sign that Android is making it: Software piracy is going gangbusters despite Google's efforts to curtail it.

Follow Bob Brown on Twitter at www.twitter.com/alphadoggs.

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