Apple's iPhone is leading the pack as far as smartphone sales, but when it comes to next-generation 4G phones, HTC is rising to fill the void left from a no-show iPhone 5, and Droid Bionic.

When it comes to current technology there isn't really any competition, Morgan Keegan analyst Tavis McCourt said.

His study of 50 retailers in the US concluded that the iPhone 4 is the best selling device hands down, but phones based off Google's Android are roughly on par in terms of sales at Verizon, and catching up at AT&T.

These figures combine all device sales using the Android platform, versus the figure from just the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4.

But the real surprise is as arguable the two most anticipated next generation phones are delayed -- the Droid Bionic and the iPhone 5 -- HTC has come in and is cleaning house.

The arrival of HTC's Inspire smartphone, the Motorola Mobility (MMI) Atrix, and Samsung's Infuse are slowing down the sales at AT&T McCourt explained, as well as the slowdown on the iPhone 3GS promotions.

AT&T dominance of iPhone is likely fading a tad this quarter, he explained.

The Inspire, in particular, is having very strong sales at AT&T, he said, probably the best-selling Android phone there, with the Atrix in second place.

Moto's Droid X2 at Verizon doesn't seem to have the same momentum as the first Droid X, and Moto needs to get its Droid Bionic to Verizon soon, because Samsung and HTC are exploiting the demand for 4G phones, he thinks.

The Droid Bionic will feature hardware from Texas Instruments  and feature 4G connectivity, but has been severely delayed from due to operational problems at Motorola, analyst said.

The delay was due to network interaction problems with MMI's protocol stack, but in general [Jha] believes that MMI is executing well and should continue to do so, Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha said earlier this month.

The device is expected in Q3.

Meanwhile, observers are expecting a Q4 release for the iPhone 5.