(Google Android, RIM and Apple story updated with reaction from Artio Global Investors' Sam Dedio.)
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Google's ( GOOG) Android is now the most sought-after operating system among consumers who purchased a smart phone in the past six months, while the BlackBerry RIM ( RIMM) and Apple ( AAPL) iOS are in "statistical dead heat" for second place among recent buyers, according to The Nielsen Company's August data. The Nielsen research covers a period that includes a full-month of iPhone 4 availability. The device arrived at stores at the end of June. Nielsen analyst Roger Entner said Nielsen surveyed about 25,000 people per month for the study, or about 300,000 people in total. What you see with the Android's spectacular growth is that choice and variety is key," Entner said. Consumers "can get Android phones now with most carriers, though not all. They are really succeeding." Echoing his thoughts, Morningstar analyst Toan Tran said the Android is definitely picking up in popularity because it's available in many more carriers than its rivals. "It's one compelling device if you do not want to have an iPhone." Artio Global Investors' Sam Dedio noted also that "Android-based phones are being introduced at much lower price points than the Apple phones -- which resonates well with cost-conscious consumers -- and that the smart-phone capabilities -- such as web browsing and apps -- that Android-based phones have compared to RIM Blackberry are also attracting users who are upgrading."