The smartphone is a unique mobile device with advanced computing ability and connectivity compared to other feature phones. And lately the buzz is that, the smartphones almost equal the processing features of a laptop computer.

Although iPhone with the iOS took a big share from RIM's Blackberry in 2010, Google, Apple and RIM are all vying for the top spot in the smartphone battle.

The Nielsen Company has just released the latest market share data. The Android OS has toppled the RIM BlackBerry and Apple iOS as it reached 29 percent market share compared to RIM BlackBerry and iOS which are tied at 27 percent.  Meanwhile, the Microsoft OS platform occupied 10 percent share while HP’s Palm and Nokia’s Symbian occupied 4 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

But the data also says that one reason why RIM and Apple continue to do well is because as they are the manufacturers of their own operating system for their own devices. The updates and fixes are faster than those on the Android OS platform, as the latter is spread among different manufacturers. But the Android platform is on some of the most advanced devices, such as Motorola's Atrix 4G, which is as powerful as a small computer.

Here is a look at five reasons why Android-powered devices might fare better than others.

Hardware:
Android smartphones are bigger and have better design. The Samsung Galaxy S2 and Motorola Atrix 4G are devices that are going define the future with their computer-equivalent specifications. They have better cameras, different display sizes, and more memory for mutitasking.

Accessibility:
The Android powered smartphones are available from several different devices manufacturers like HTC, Motorola and Samsung. They are also available with a choice of carriers and different plans to suit  different users' needs.

Pricing:
The price factor is important. Most users tend to change their smarpthone as it ages, and the availability of cheaper and more sophisticated Android phones might make it more viable than others, as Apple maintains high prices for the iPhone.

Apps:
The applications store for Android smarpthones is growing and more advanced and better applications are filling that marketplace. There is reasonable cross-compatibility across handsets.

Speed:
How fast data can be accessed is an important factor. The Android smartphones are can access the newer, faster 4G networks, while iPhones and Blackberrys cannot.