Android made major gains in the US in the most recent quarter, jumping past RIM Blackberry to become the number one selling smartphone platform in the US. Meanwhile, even though the iPhone 4 was the best-selling handset overall in the quarter, iPhone sales were flat year-over-year, giving Android an even bigger bump.

According to NPD, Android captured 44 percent of the market for smartphones in the quarter ending September 30, up from 33 percent in the previous quarter and just 3 percent one year ago. Most of the gain came at the expense of RIM, as Apple's sales were flat. Apple finished with 23 percent of smartphone sales in the US, compared to 22 percent for RIM (down from 28 percent in the previous quarter).

Looking at individual smartphones, Apple sold 14 million iPhones in the quarter, compared to 12 million for the BlackBerry Curve 8500, previously the number one US smartphone. The LG Cosmos came in third, followed by two Android phones, Motorola Droid X and the HTC Evo 4G.

The market researchers at NPD also noted another milestone: In July, smartphones accounted for over 50 percent of all mobile phone sales for the first time. Smartphones ended the quarter with 46 percent of sales, up from only 28 percent last year.

Globally, the picture is a bit different. According to Canalys, Nokia's Symbian continues to lead the smartphone market with 37 percent market share, though many of those devices are arguably not technically smartphones. Jumping into the number two spot this quarter, Google's Android now commands 17 percent of the market, surpassing RIM, Apple, and Microsoft. How sharp is Android's rise? Sales of Android-based handsets worldwide are up an inconceivable 1,309 percent.