Apple, Google, Research In Motion (RIM) are neck-and-neck in the cut-throat smartphone market in the U.S., according to a Nielsen survey.

While Apple and Google have their own individual operating systems to run their respective smartphones, Google’s Android operating system (OS) supports the rest of the competition.

“When it comes to consumer market share by operating system, Android (29 per cent ) appears to be pulling ahead of RIM Blackberry (27 per cent) and Apple iOS (27 per cent),” Nielsen said in its survey.

But the analysis shows “RIM and Apple to be the winners compared to other device makers since they are the only ones creating and selling smartphones with their respective operating systems.”

According to the survey, HTC follows with 12 per cent of consumer smartphone owners having an HTC Android device and 7 per cent owning an HTC device running a Microsoft OS.

Only 10 per cent of consumer smartphone owners had a Motorola Android device and one per cent owned a Motorola device running a Microsoft OS, the survey said.

Android is reportedly gaining at the cost of Nokia’s Symbian operating system, which runs about 10 per cent of the smartphones.

Since its Symbian operating system has failed to compete with Android and the iPhone OS, Nokia has entered into a tie-up with Microsoft to use its Windows Phone 7 in its smartphones.

Keywords: GoogleAndroidNokia