More Americans use iPhones than any version of Android smartphones, but Google's operating system bests Apple when it comes to marketshare, with 51.8 percent of smartphone users owning an Android handset compared to 34 percent with iPhones, according to new data released Thursday.

A new report from Nielsen shows that as of the second quarter of 2012, 51.8 percent of smartphone owners hand a phone running on Google's Android operating system, while 34.3 percent of U.S. phones were running on Apple's iOS.

The report also showed more than half - 54.9 percent - of U.S. cell phone subscribers own a smartphone as of June 2012.

This growth is driven by increasing smartphone purchases: 2 out of 3 Americans who acquired a new mobile phone in the last three months chose a smartphone instead of a feature phone, Nielsen said.

Struggling Canada-based RIM, the makers of the BlackBerry, have 8.1 percent of the U.S. smartphone operating system marketshare, while others have 5.9 percent market share.

While Android is besting iOS among U.S. consumers, the iPhone is still the most popular cell phone, with 34 percent of all U.S. smartphone owners carrying around an iPhone.

That's double the 17 percent of cell phone owners who have a Samsung device. Korea-based Samsung leads all Android manufacturers, followed by HTC at 14 percent, Motorola at 11 percent and other at 9 percent.

Among smartphone owners who purchased their device last month, 54 percent of them chose an Android phone while 36 percent bought an iPhone, according to Nielsen.

Microsoft's Windows Mobile and Windows 7 account for 4 percent of U.S. operating system marketshare, with 3 percent of American consumers carrying a phone with Windows Mobile and 1.3 percent with phones running on Windows 7.

Trailing behind are Nokia's Symbian operating system at .9 percent and Palm/WebOS, which accounts for .6 percent market share.