Android is gaining popularity among new smartphone buyers in the US even though Apple’s iOS still leads the overall smartphone market.

Market share of Google's Android increased by 6 percent to 25.8 percent in November 2010 compared with the previous month, said a report from Mashable quoting a Nielsen study.

While iPhone retained the top position in the US smartphone market with a share of 28.6 percent in November, RIM’s BlackBerry occupied second place with 26.1 percent share.

Besides, Android smartphone purchases grew fast in the last six months representing 41 percent of the overall smartphone purchases, Nielsen‘s survey showed.

However, all these three OS platforms are gaining from a continued rise in smartphone sales. Among the recent phone buyers in the US, 45 percent preferred a smartphone to a feature phone, according to Nielsen.

Android, with its availability in many different models, has a clear advantage when a user wants to change a phone or renew a mobile contract, the report said.