Apple leads off 2014 as top smartphone maker in U.S.: ComScore

Apple leads off 2014 as top smartphone maker in U.S.: ComScore

Summary: Looking forward for 2014, the mobile OS space might be even more difficult to predict this year.


Following the holiday season and a slew of new smartphone launches during the fall, the dust in the domestic mobile market had time to settle in January.

Android and iOS get to split the top crowns, so to speak, based on the latest figures from ComScore.

The Internet analytics company reported on Friday that Apple led off the year as the top smartphone maker in the United States with 41.6 percent of the market share, up one point from three months prior.

Samsung trailed in second place with 26.7 percent of the pie, a slightly larger uptick at 1.3 percent more than in October 2013.

The Korean tech giant might also be seeing a boost in the next month or two following the anticipated unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S5, among several other gadgets, at Mobile World Congress at the end of February.

LG, Motorola, and HTC rounded out the top five. Motorola is another one to watch over the coming months following the sale of the beleaguered mobile brand from Google to Lenovo for $2.91 billion in January.

But the Android ecosystem still reigns supreme in the operating system space. Google's mobile OS accounted for 51.7 percent of the spectrum, down slightly by 0.5 percent from October.

Apple's iOS went up a point in three months to 41.6 percent of the market, followed by BlackBerry, Microsoft, and Symbian respectively.

Looking forward for 2014, the mobile OS space might be even more difficult to predict this year. Android and Apple will undoubtedly continue to claim the top two spots.

But BlackBerry is at what could be its final make or break point with new leadership and a renewed focus on enterprise. Microsoft's Windows Phone continues (slowly but surely) to gain traction and credit. There are even murmurings about Firefox entering the mix too.

Overall, 159.8 million Americans owned smartphones as of the end of January -- more than 66 percent of the mobile market.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Apple, iOS, Smartphones

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  • Translation: Apple way out ahead

    Samsung a distant second, and everyone else scrabbling for the remaining scraps. Or, one company gets all the revenue for 42% of the market, and the remaining 58% is divided up among everyone else.
    • Samsung 26.7%; LG/Moto/HTC ~25%

      25% of the market doesn't sound like scraps. That's the percentage of phones sold that were Android and not Samsungs. While Sony/Huawei/etc. no doubt shaved a percentage point or two for themselves, that leaves LG + Moto + HTC with nearly 25% of the smartphones sold. Again, that's not scraps.
      • House of Cards

        Right now the iPhone seems promising but, it is still lagging Android and if they don't get out a better version soon, it is going to at the well one too many times.

        The other day my iPhone loving daughter asked me if she should get an S4 and sell her iPhone 5 because she wanted to do basic things like change the font or make her own ringtones.

        I told her to jailbreak it and she said, "Can I set a different ringtone for each contact if I do that?" I told her I didn't think so but, I wasn't sure.

        The point is, if the same old features are missing for too long, people going to start buying the things that have the features they want.

        I'm not as adverse to the iPhone as I once was but, I know it still is not the best phone on the market. If anything the others are coming back to the iPhone in features and not the other way around.
        • RE: House of Cards

          Every year the same thing is said about the iPhone lagging and that its going to lose out to other phones. Its along the same lines as "Apple is dying". As much as you wish it was true, its not gonna happen. The iPhone is still selling like crazy. There is no "best phone". The best phone is subjective and based on your needs. For me, its the best phone. I'm also a software engineer, dba and systems engineer and I don't need all the "customization" of other phones.

          I don't know if your daughter really does have an iPhone 5 or not but I can assure you that you can make your own ringtones. You've been able to for a quite a while now. I know this to be true as I've set up my own (11th doctor theme whenever someone calls.. and they wonder why it takes me so long to answer). You can also set a separate ringtone and even vibration pattern per contact. It's not really that difficult to go to a contact and tap "Edit". Its right there. "Ringtone" and "Vibration".

          The iPhone might not have as many features as an Android equivalent, but its definitely not as far "behind" as many say it is. Again, just because you say something, doesn't make it true.
          • make your own ringtones?

            Er, in the Android world, people don't MAKE ringtones they just hit menu, use as ringtone and use any song as a ringtone.
            Apple crippled that aspect in the iphone because they think users are stupid enough to pay again for ringtone versions of songs.
            Of course iphone users have developed skills in working around iphone limitations and thus it JUST WORKS.
  • Translation: Production equals demand....

    • CDMA = demand

      Anti-competitive carriers and Apple making up market numbers.
      It's not based on free market demand.
      See my post below for more info on nth american and Japan carriers and the iphone.
  • smartphone maker?

    Since most of Apple's iPhones are manufactured in China, shouldn't Apple be called smartphone importer? Ok, maybe smartphone designer since they say that their phones and computers were designed in California.
    • what do you call samsung then

      what do you call samsung then..

      Not every company can make all phones in US. Almost all companies makes phones in china and korea.
      • Except Microsoft

        They have them made in India, due to even lower costs, because of child labor.
        I hate trolls also
        • Sad, really

          Not your MS thing, as you I and both realize you made that up - no, it's sad to see how low many of you have fallen.
  • Android ecosystem? Apple IOS? What is your intention

    by using ecosystem for one and not the other.

    You must have meant to say Apple ecosystem as well instead of simply IOS.

    Unless your speaking of both the Android and Apple OS's

    Seems an attempt at word play IMO.
  • Android

    Google better pray that Samsung continues to make Android phones and doesn't go Tizen on them. Nobody else on Android can offer a compelling smart phone. Samsung is slowly building their app store, music store, and ecosystem up every year.

    It could be game over for Android if that happened because the sales that would have gone to Android would now go to Samsung and there would be a new dominant player. Samsung makes all matters of smart phones and they have a massive distribution channel. Samsung is capable of building smart phones for emerging markets every price point as well as the U.S. market with the premium segment.
    • They both have leverage

      Samsung's got the phone sales, which Google needs to bolster its mobile ad and content empire. But Google has the content - Google Play and the apps that make a phone worth having. They both have leverage.
  • Oh course.. this is only important if you ignore the rest of the world.

    Americans have long been known to have preferences that are way out of step with the rest of the planet (except, maybe, Japan).

    So while Apple dominates smartphones in the US with 40% marketshare - in Japan, it's even higher - worldwide, it's more like 16%. Android holds 81% of the worldwide marketshare.

    Based on IDC's numbers world-wide for 2013, Apple had 13.1% and Samsung had 30.4%.

    So... as usual, you can always find a way to slice data to make yourself happy...

    If it makes you happy - in Japan, Apple has 42.1% and Samsung has a measly 8.8%.

    Be proud! :)
    • uh

      there's no "slicing". it's right there in the title: in U.S.
      if the article was about the world it would probably have been, like, you know, a completely different title.

      reading comprehension, it's your friend.
    • Apple depends largely on non GSM networks

      Not many Android manufacturers seriously cater for these CDMA and non-standard LTE carriers so Apple gets little competiton with these anti-competitive carriers using non GSM standards.
      Japan also has the same problem with basically no GSM networks. It is no wonder that Apple wins there as well with CDMA phones and anti-competitiveness.
      In any GSM only market, Apple doesn't enjoy the anti-competive protection with non-standard carriers and their numbers don't look so good.
      This is an important factor when viewing Apple market percentages in certain regions.
  • I have to hand it to Apple - they continue to succeed

    Occasionally, I will use an Apple phone and it makes me wonder what on earth makes it dominant. It's screen is tiny, it is way overpriced (although subsidies cancel that out), and based on the number of cracked screens I see, it is not all that durable. I use an Ipad so I'm familiar with IOS, but when I'm trying to find someplace on MAPS, I love the real estate of my Note 2. I understand the "cool" factor of Apple, but wow, 41% of the American market, that is huge! I have to admit, I'm missing something. I know many of you will say the "it just works" mantra, and "build quality" mantra, and "gold is awesome" mantra, but I think the real support for Iphone is subsidy that removes the price barrier. As that goes away as I hope it will (I love international systems where you buy the phone and get your service - it is so free) I think Apple will either have to lower prices or their market share will shrink.
    • the real support for iphone is non GSM networks

      It may not seem obvious to US users but the rest of the world uses GSM only and we chucked CDMA a decade ago. Except Japan.
      And which 2 countries happen to have high market share with iphones?
      Connect the dots.....