Statistically, it’s a three-way tie for mobile OS market share leadership, according to the latest research from The Nielsen Co., though Google’s Android has greater momentum among recent mobile phone acquirers.

Android OS-based mobile phones accounted for 40% of purchases in the last six months as compared to Apple’s iOS with 26.9% and RIM’s BlackBerry with 19.2%. Apple’s iOS remains the the overall leader in terms of consumer market share with 28.6%, but RIM’s BlackBerry, at 26.1%, and Android’s 25.8% market share leave all three in a statistical dead heat.

Consumers are showing a definite preference for smartphones as opposed to feature phones, the Nielsen report adds. Forty-five percent of ‘recent acquirers’ chose a smartphone over a feature phone.