83% of the apps downloaded in the past month were for a Google or Apple phone

Click to enlarge. Source: Nielsen

The U.S. smartphone market is starting to look like a two-horse race, judging from data scheduled to be released Wednesday by a Nielsen general manager at AppNation III in San Francisco. Among the new findings:

  • 44% of all U.S. mobile subscribers now own a smartphone
  • 56% of the mobile phones purchased in the past three months were smartphones
  • 71% or buyers purchased an “app friendly” — Nielsen’s phrase — Apple AAPL iPhone or Google GOOG Android phone
  • 83% of the app downloaders in the past 30 days use either iPhones or Android phones

As Nielsen’s charts over the past nine months show, Android has grown to be the leading smartphone operating system (now with a 42.8% share), while Apple is still holding on as the leading smartphone manufacturer (with a 28.3% share).

The market shares of the alsorans — Research in Motion RIMM , Microsoft MSFT , Nokia NOK and Palm HPQ — continue to shrink.