More than half of all new smartphone owners in the United States are selecting Android-based handsets. 56 percent of those who picked up a new handset in the past three months went with Google’s offering, according to a new study from Nielsen.

Apple iOS earned the second spot with 28 percent of new users selecting an iPhone over all other offerings. Blackberry usage continues to dwindle with only nine percent of new owners selecting a RIM product. The “Other” category which likely includes Windows Phone 7, Symbian, Bada and the like only accounted for six percent of new purchases.

Nielsen also collected data about all smartphone subscribers which indicates that 43 percent of US smartphone owners operate an Android device. 28 percent own iPhones, 18 percent carry a BlackBerry and 11 percent use some other device not included in the top three.

A study from Canalys last month showed that Google’s Android platform had reached nearly 50 percent of the global smartphone market. Android ranked number one in 35 of the 56 countries that Canalys polled in the market estimate. Shipments of devices running Google’s operating system were up 379 percent from the same time last year.

In what Google has called their best deal ever, the company acquired the mobile phone software startup Android in August 2005 for an undisclosed sum (estimated to be around $50 million). Development on the mobile OS was put into overdrive and in September 2008, T-mobile unveiled the first “Google phone,” the HTC-developed G1.