A new survey carried out by ChangeWave Research reveals that Google's Android platform is enjoying a massive boost in popularity.

As reported over on V3.co.uk, the survey - which queried 4,000 prospective smartphone purchasers - saw that interest in Google's Linux-based smartphone platform has enjoyed a 15 percent rise in the last three months, possibly as a halo effect from the increased advertising Google has carried out with regards to its Chrome web browser.

The increase, which saw 21 percent of those surveyed indicate that their next purchase would be an Android handset, makes Android the second most popular choice of smartphone platform amongst those surveyed - with Apple's incredibly popular iPhone platform in the lead with 28 percent.

While a 7 percent lead for Apple might seem insurmountable, the survey reveals that that figure is already down 4 percentage points compared to the same figures three months ago - and if interest in Android continues to grow at the same rate as it has been doing, the number one spot is most certainly within Google's reach.

While the battle for the number one spot is clearly a two-horse race, the rest of the market is more divided: Palm's WebOS platform is sitting at just three percent, and Microsoft's once-leading Windows Mobile platform was on the mind of just six percent of those surveyed - three percentage points down on earlier figures.

Interestingly, the recent decision by Motorola to concentrate on the Android platform is certainly being validated in the survey: the company has enjoyed a 12 percentage point jump - described by the report's authors Paul Carton and Jean Crumrine as "the first increase for Motorola in a ChangeWave smartphone survey in three years," - which is directly attributable to the launch of the Android 2.0-based Motorola Droid, known as the Motorola Milestone in European markets.

Do you think the future of the smartphone is with Android, or is Apple's cut-down Mac OS the way forward? Are you surprised to see Microsoft's Windows Mobile so lowly regarded, or are you surprised to see people considering WebOS at all? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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