For the first time ever The NPD Group is reporting that Android sales out numbered Apple’s iPhone, at least for the first quarter of 2010. The numbers show Google’s Android OS moving up to take the number two spot at 28 percent, while the iPhone only takes 21 percent. RIM of course has the most sales at 36 percent, keeping Blackberry devices well in the lead. Back in march it was reported that Android’s market was growing at the blazing fast rate of 153 percent over the competition. It appears Apple’s numbers are slowing down, but what is the reason?

It could be the increasing number of Android manufacturers. Not only has HTC produced a huge amount of them, but both Samsung and Motorola have added to the mix. The large variety of devices means more options and price points to consumers. The iPhone is currently only available on AT&T in the US, while Android devices are available on many carriers, most notably the Motorola Droid being sold by Verizon. The Droid has received a huge advertising campaign to help sales, and it has certainly paid off.

Another reason could be that Apple’s iPhone 3GS is really starting to look old in the face of the latest Android offerings such as HTC’s Incredible. While Apple’s next iPhone will almost certainly to be unveiled next month at WWDC, there is also the growing problem of carrier dependence. Android phones are still offered on more carriers, and Apple is certainly aware of people’s complaints about AT&T’s service. Will Apple open the iPhone to more providers? It is looking doubtful that it will happen anytime soon, but Apple is probably cautiously looking over the growing number of Android sales and preparing for the next move.