Apple first, Samsung second in U.S. smartphone market

Apple first, Samsung second in U.S. smartphone market

Summary: According to latest comScore figures, Apple is ranked as the top smartphone maker in the U.S., almost double Samsung's share. But Android rules the roost in terms of smartphone platform—which isn't all that surprising.


Latest figures from comScore have put the smartphone crown firmly on Apple's head, after the iPhone maker ranked in first over Samsung in U.S. market share.

Out of 125.9 million U.S. smartphone owners—more than half of the U.S. population—Apple ranked as the top smartphone maker with 36.3 percent share, compared to Samsung's share of almost half that, at 21.3 percent.

However, Android still remains the most popular platform for the U.S. market. Google's Android mobile operating system took more than half of the U.S. platform share at 53.4 percent, while iOS took 36.3 percent. 

It's worth noting, this report focuses on U.S. smartphone market share only, and not mobile—such as feature phones—as a whole. Otherwise, that would likely be an entirely different picture, with Nokia and Samsung higher up the list, with Apple likely further down. 

After all, it's all about the smartphone market, not feature phones. Nielsen said last May that more than half of all U.S. mobile subscribers are smartphone owners, making feature phones increasingly irrelevant in this day and age. comScore today backed this up, stating there was a 54 percent penetration rate among smartphone owners. 

Both Apple and Samsung gained by around 2 percent, while HTC and Motorola in third and fourth place respectively both lost share during the three-month average ending December 2012. Meanwhile LG in fifth place gained marginally by a meager half-percentage point.

Screen Shot 2013-02-06 at 15.52.07
(Credit: comScore)

In platform, note that Google's platform share is dwindling and barely growing, at just 0.9 percentage points during the three month average, as Android reaches saturation point. Apple grew by 2 percent, showing there's still some energy left in the market.

Screen Shot 2013-02-06 at 15.52.16
(Credit: comScore)

Considering Apple's iOS only comes on one smartphone—albeit different iterations—Google licenses Android out on a range of devices from various manufacturers. It spreads the platform share over multiple devices rather than from one smartphone manufacturer. This almost makes Apple's platform share more impressive—at more than two-thirds of the U.S. market, it's no Samsung but it's hardly a flawed second place. 

BlackBerry lost out the most, while Microsoft's Windows Phone platform dipped below the 3 percent mark—again. Nokia's Symbian share remains flat, which is neither great nor bad news, considering the Finnish phone maker is trying to get shot of the software in favor of Microsoft's mobile operating system.

Topics: Smartphones, Android, Apple, Google, iOS

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  • Windows Phone is looking GREAT!!!!

    Declining Marketshare Baby!!!!
    • You poor thing...

      WP8 has reached critical mass, its going to smoke your a**... LOL
      • I think you mean "supercritical mass"

        Critical mass is the smallest amount of something needed to achieve criticality; the self sustaining chain reaction that neither increases nor decreases it's output.

        Theoretically the smallest amount of phones running Windows sold before this is achieved is 1, and it would create one new adopter per contract cycle; but that could also be the same guy upgrading his contract at the end. Subcritical mass could also be 1... But then no-one else gets a windows phone, bb could be said to have been subcritical for the last couple of years.

        If the number of windows phones sold is enough to go supercritical, then as a windows phone user comes across a non windows phone user, they buy a windows phone, and then they bump into a non windows phone user and they get one, and so on.

        The only problem is that if you follow the metaphor too closely everyone will quickly have owned one windows phone in a very short period of time. In maybe a year or two MS would have 100% market share. But they will all now be unable to own another- year two 0 phones sold... Oops!
      • How is that?

        Microsoft LOST subscribers - in order for WP to ain marketshare they have to gain subscribers not lose them.
    • GREAT! So then you just keep using your inferior little phone

      and that 2.9% get to laugh at you because their phone is better then yours!

      I guess you laugh at all those Ferrari and Lambrogini owners, too since they have such a miniscule little market share compared to the model car you drive. :)
      William Farrel
      • It's an awareness thing

        I think a fair chunk of WP7/8s small market share is due to a lack of public awareness. I doubt the majority of the public even knows MS even *has* a mobile OS outside of the decade old version. I personally love my Nokia Windows phone since I switched to it last year and personally consider it a far better product than iOS or Android devices. A similar sentiment has been expressed by virtually everyone I've shown it to or those with personal experience using it so this is clearly a case of not enough people knowing such a great product is out there.
        • I think it's not true

          At least from studies that can be found, windows phone users are the ones that are less likely to buy another windows device, with Apple in a distant first place.
      • Re: I guess you laugh at all those Ferrari and Lambrogini owners

        Ferrari and Lamborghini are at least signs of success, Windows Phone is not.
    • Re: Windows Phone is looking GREAT!!!!

      Lost 20% of its market share during the peak retail season of the year.

      Way to go, Microsoft. And your sad, downvoting fanbois.
      • O saw that long ago

        Many analysts were entertained about pointing the growth from the 3rd quarter.
        The reality is that with a new OS, with a market that was growing and in the best period of the year, sales were shy.
  • *face palm* here we go...

    Before the trolling gets too bad I'd like to offer possibly the last word of common sense in this section; just buy what you like and let others do the same?

    Interesting article though... Well as interesting as usage statistics can be!
  • Apple first, Samsung second in U.S. smartphone market

    A small decline isn't going to stop me from continuing to use Microsoft Windows Phone 8. Simply the most logical UI I've ever used.
    • Have to agree

      I don't think that "market share" is a particularly vital reason to use one product or another. If it works for you, that's all that really matters in the big picture.
      Third of Five
      • And I agree!

        ack in the day i could not tell you how many times I got into disagreements with MS Windows users abot the fact that market share means little too me it's the product and what it does for well me that matters. Same with Android fans today they use the old it has more "features" to which I respond a feature that I do not use nor want is not a feature to me. It could in fact be a bother if it gets in my way but it's not a feature if I don't need or want it. They also tend to use the market share argument which kind of reminds me of my MS vs Apple days:) Good times.... good times.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
    • Re: A small decline isn't going to stop me from continuing to use Microsoft

      You aren't actually using it, though, are you?
  • more than

    50% of Blackberry preorders are coming from people with IOS & Android devices, I'd love to see these results updated in about 6 months
    • But who makes the Blackberry?

      It's from manufacturers not OS. It would only help Samsung in the sense that Apple wouldn't be making as many phones, but wouldn't help Samsung unless they made Blackberry devices.
    • 100% of Blackberry preorders = not a lot

      Even if you took all the blackberry preorders they don't amount to much when compared to iOS and Android. Could be trouble for windows phone though. I am glad to Blackberry return and wish them the best, even if I never own one.
  • Since there is no Android

    bank account into which moneys are paid and all Android vendors receive a draw on, can we please stop pretending that Android, the platform, is in any way equivalent to Samsung or Apple the phone manufacturers.
    • Depends on the reader

      If this article was post on a financial website sure the company would be most important. If you are talking to an app developer, the name of manufacturer isn't as important as growth in the platform. Give where this article is locate I would say it is geared toward the second group.