Nielsen: Android now top mobile platform for new buyers

Phones based on Google's Android mobile operating system sold better than Research In Motion's BlackBerry and Apple's iPhone over the past six months according to data from the Nielsen Company.

Nielsen said Tuesday that data from August show Android is now the most popular platform among new users. The data covers the first six months of this year, though the recently released iPhone 4 was only available for the month of June.

Android has gained in popularity because the software is free and it is available to any manufacturer. Companies that have adopted Android include HTC and Motorola.

Nielsen said Android sales passed Apple during the second quarter but trailed Blackberry. Overall Blackberry still leads the smartphone market with a 31 percent market share; 28 percent of users have iPhones, while 19 percent have Android phones. Apple had been steadily closing the gap on Blackberry in recent months.