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Google’s Android operating system is now the most desired smartphone OS, according to a survey of mobile consumers from Nielsen.

The survey — conducted January-March 2011 — shows that 31% of consumers plan to buy an Android device as their next smartphone, compared with 30% of people wanting Apple’s iOS. The survey also showed that 20% are unsure of what operating system they want.

This is a shift from the previous survey six months before that showed only 26% of consumers desired an Android device, while 33% wanted iOS, and 18% were unsure.

This shift toward Android has even made its way to sales, as 50% of those surveyed in March 2011 who purchased a smartphone in the last six months chose an Android phone, compared with 25% who chose iOS.

Looking at the current market share, Android holds 37%, iOS has 27% and RIM BlackBerry OS rounds out the top three with 22%, Nielsen finds.