Nielsen: Android Takes Top Spot Among Smartphones on Mobile Data Consumption

According to the latest findings by the Nielsen Company, Google’s Android mobile operating system has secured 36% of the US smartphone segment, its biggest lead yet over second-place finished iOS, which currently enjoys 26%.

Research In Motion’s BlackBerry is third overall with 23%.

But it’s the consumers with Android and Apple smartphones who, by far, exhibit the most “data-intensive usage.” For example, 74% of Android owners and 79% of iPhone owners say they’ve downloaded apps in the past month. Meanwhile, another 43% of Android owners and 46% of iPhone owners say they streamed online music or mobile radio in the past month.

Perhaps most interestingly, as it underscores the growth of mobile television and mobile video content absorption, 35% of Android smartphone consumers and 37% of iPhone owners report having watched video or mobile TV in the past 30 days

According to the folks at Nielsen, while a higher proportion of iPhone owners “engage in these kinds of activities,” consumers with Android devices consume an awful lot more data on average when doing so.

An analysis of nearly 65,000 cellphone bills in the US reveals that in the first quarter of 2011, Android smartphone owners consumed an average of 582 MB of data each month, compared to 492 MB for iPhone owners.