US smartphone buyers are not as interested in the iPhone as they were, with Android the most attractive option for smartphone buyers, research has shown.

According to a report from Nielsen 31 percent of US consumers planning to buy a smartphone polled between January and March of 2011 wanted to get an Android handset, compared to 30 percent wanting an iPhone.

Compared to the figures from July-September 2010, when Android had gained 26 percent of the vote compared to the iPhone's 33 percent, this marks a significant shift in public opinion, Nielsen said.

"Those dynamics are already translating into sales. Half of those surveyed in March 2011 who indicated they had purchased a smartphone in the past six months said they had chosen an Android device. A quarter of recent acquirers said they bought an iPhone and 15 percent said they had picked a Blackberry phone," the company reported.

In terms of overall market share in the US, Android is ahead with 37 percent of the market with iOS on 27 percent. BlackBerry takes 22 percent with the Windows Mobile platform accounting for 10 percent.

Of course customer opinions are likely to be swayed by the launch of new handsets - a white iPhone 4 or the iPhone 5 could affect the numbers quite dramatically.

Interestingly, though, Nielsen's most recent figures are taken from the period when the Verizon iPhone launched in the US, suggesting that even this event - significant because it ended AT&T's exclusive rights to the iPhone in the country - couldn't halt the rise of Android's appeal.

Earlier this week, a report from Appcelerator suggested that Android's appeal to developers was in decline due to frustrations over the fragmentation of the platform and poor sales of Android-based tablets.