Apple's smartphone share rockets, Android loses ground

Apple's smartphone share rockets, Android loses ground

Summary: Apple and Google remain at the top in their respective zones, but neither gain full marks at the top of the smartphone and platform podium. The iPhone—Android duopoly continues.

TOPICS: iOS, Android, Smartphones

Both Apple and Google are leading the race in the U.S. smartphone and platform rankings respectively, according to new comScore figures, but neither one has the complete pieces of the jigsaw to reign as the overall ecosystem winner.

During the three months ended in February, Apple retained hold of its lead over second place rival Samsung in the U.S. market with 38.9 percent, up 3.9 percentage points on the previous month.

Samsung by comparison grew just 1 percentage point to take 21.3 percent, but the figures reflect the period just before the "shockingly sexist" launch of the Galaxy S4, unveiled in mid-March in New York City. 

(Credit: comScore)

All other mobile makers in the top five, including HTC, Motorola and LG, which all develop devices for the Android platform, have lost ground.

That probably accounts for the fact that Google's mobile platform has lost 2 percentage points from the three months ended in November, but still retains the top spot with 51.7 percent of the U.S. market — more than half of all the 133.7 million smartphone owners in the country.

Apple naturally grew by the same 3.9 percentage points since the last count as a likely result of a recent explosion in number of iPhone owners. At Apple's Q1 earnings, which the company announced its December holiday sales, the iPhone maker announced that 47.8 million of its smartphones had been sold during the quarter, up from 37 million during the same quarter a year ago.

Bad news for BlackBerry owners as the platform declined by just shy of 2 percent during the three month period, holding just 5.4 percent of the market. Considering BlackBerry Z10 sales in the U.S. have only just kicked off, the next couple of month should show some growth, albeit modestly, according to BlackBerry Q4 figures.

(Credit: comScore)

Meanwhile Microsoft's Windows Phone platform grew slightly by 0.2 percent, and Symbian — which Nokia is still holding the pillow over its face — remained flat, showing no growth but still a steady 0.5 percent of the market with the old, outdated and defunct platform.

Topics: iOS, Android, Smartphones

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  • Expected numbers exagerated

    This was the first full quarter for the iPhone 5. If Apple didn't gain they would not be competing. This was the quarter before launch for Blackberry which should see a decline. HTC also should have a decline as the HTC one was getting ready to launch. Motorola didn't have a major launch either so no surprise here. The really bad news in the report is for Windows Phone 8 which is showing only slight increase on it's first full quarter.
    • No surprise, true.

      In phone sales, Apple is still number 1 and Samsung is number 2. Nobody else sells even half what they each sell. In OS used, Android has what 100+ different phones using their OS? So, it's also no surprise that the combined sales of 100+ other phones would beat the iPhone. Another question is, how much is each smartphone actually used for things other than texting and phone calls? All of the online usage numbers show that iOS devices are used far more for Internet access than Android devices. Personally, I don't understand why that is the case, but it is. My opinion was always that Windows Phone would remain a tiny slice of the pie. I also think lazy Blackberry sat on its posterior, milking the same exact phone for far too long without any innovation. BB10 is too little, too late. So, they deserve their fate.

      So, yeah there were no real surprises, but at least it confirms what we all figured was true.
    • Data ended in Feb not Dec.

      Nice try though. Play again next month and see if you can win a No Prize.
      • A quarter = 3 months

        December - February is the first full quarter for the iPhone 5. It went on sale near the end of the November Quarter.....Not month.

        Nice try to you but Months are not quarters of the year.
        • Wrong release date

          iPhone 5 came out in September in the US. So while Dec-Feb is their first full quarter of sales I'm sure the slighly shorter Sept-Nov raked in quite a bit of sales.
    • 48 million handsets

      Is definitely competing... Lets face it; taking that Sentiment onboard would mean no one else is trying!

      I was actually surprised by the iPhone's growth. Especially as we heard rumours of apple cutting production just after Christmas. Of course we don't know how many of those were indeed i5's. I'd imagine that cheaper 4's were far more popular than when 3gs's were at the same price point.

      As for Samsung, as I say, I'm a bit surprised. From the tech buzz I was expecting apple to be loosing market share to Microsoft, but it looks like it could possibly be slightly more former android users moving than iOS. That said, I think it's best for most if Samsung slide a little. I'd definitely like to see more competition in android. As Samsung's power becomes more and more complete, it just can't be a good thing for the consumer.

      Blackberry not such a surprise. I just haven't heard any non techy people talking about them. But they had virtually vanished by the time they attempted a reboot, so I think it'll be a slow growth for them to start with. Just as MS is seeing; initial adopters, now slow but steady growth as word spreads.

      Of course the ideal is that they all reach relatively even market share and we win with lots of choice and competing handset and OS designers... Still a way off that atm
  • Too many groups tracking

    It's funny how all the different companies that release market share/usage data using whatever means of collecting always have different results. Of course, people will take the data that looks best for their argument. Kantar's US data for the last quarter has completely different numbers. Who do I trust? Given comScore says BB is at 5.4% and Kantar says .7%, that's a pretty significant difference. Apple and Windows Phone both have completely different numbers, too.
  • Great news for Apple

    Fortune also reports that iOS is outpacing Android in web usage by a huge margin.
    • Re: Fortune also reports that iOS is outpacing Android in web usage by a hu

      We've known that for some time. The only explanation seems to be that IOS users are using their devices more as feature phones than as smartphones (making more use of built-in capabilities like Web browsing instead of third-party apps), compared to Android users.
    • Errrr

      And I'm sure Fortune/CNN didn't use their own marketing to figure that out. Note that it is web usage. Maybe Apple users have to find things on the web while Android users don't. Usage means nothing. The real total is actually users of the phones.

      [Note: I do not own an Android or apple gadget. So I am more impartial.]
  • Oh Toddy!

    How WILL you twist this?
    • I don't know but I'll be sure to take a Tylenal before I read it.

      Also, you know he'll always try and get the last word in too.
      Arm A. Geddon
  • This is fantastic news for Microsoft

    While Windows Phone 8 is doing fantastically well around the world (beating apple handily in many countries and nearly caught up already in others) the US has been a tough nut to crack. Daily we hear that Windows Phone 8 is a failure, it is DOA, it will soon be in the bargain bin.

    Yet even in the US, where Windows Phone is "struggling", it is 1 of only 2 companies that was able to increase its marketshare. That's huge. Even more amazing is that it is gaining marketshare in a market that is growing. That shows that unit sales are growing at a tremendous rate.

    Now, let's see how people try to twist GROWTH, in a market where only 1 other company could show growth, into "Windows Phone 8 is dead."

    Kudos to Microsoft and since most Windows Phone 8 sales are Nokia sales, kudos to Nokia.
    • Almost couldn't finish reading that

      It was spinning too fast.

      Windows Phone will be fine. I've got my hands on it and it is solid. I think the increase represents that.

      That's about all you can say. Beating apple or android? No. But it's early doors. It's done well to get past it's initial buzz and maintain and expand sales.

      Everything else is... Um... Well I guess you really like the phone...
      • Beating apple or Android?

        "Beating apple or android? No."

        Not in worldwide marketshare but WP8 is beating apple in several countries. Yes.

        I'm only pointing out how anyone who ever said "WP8 is doomed, doomed I tell you" was clearly wrong. WP8 is doing worst in the US and STILL was one of only 2 OSs to show any growth. In other parts of the world, WP8 is doing fantastically well.

        Clearly consumers love Live Tiles and the Modern UI.,2817,2416521,00.asp


        All eyes may be on Apple and Google these days, but Microsoft has delivered a mobile platform--Windows Phone 8, that bests both of those companies in user satisfaction. It delivers to its users on nearly every aspect of the mobile phone experience."

        Kudos to Microsoft. Kudos to Nokia.
    • Kudos to Toddbottom3 for a well thought out post!!

      /sarcasm off
      Arm A. Geddon
    • "...unit sales are growing at a tremendous rate."

      If you sell 100 phones one quarter and 150 phones the next quarter, it's a 50% growth rate. Woohoo!!!
      • Tremendous ~7% ?

        You are a little off with your criticism. They went from 3% to 3.2 which is around 7% growth.

        That is tremendous growth. Super awesome mega growth would be 50%.
        That is what you get in countries where Apple just open stores, super awesome mega growth.

        /sarcasm lower to 7%

        You should never turn your sarcasm off.
      • Call it what you will

        For a product that is doomed, doomed I tell you, to be one of only 2 OSs to be growing is quite an achievement.

        But tell me userama, at 0.2% growth a quarter, how many quarters until WP8 is doomed, doomed I tell you? Please answer the question.
        • ? I don't work for Microsoft don't have that numbers ?

          That would depend on how much it cost to maintain the product? 0.2% might be enough to sustain Windows Phone development team (I not joking there, they are a small team). Which I think would be a great thing, I do like where Windows Phone is going most of the time. I worry about Nokia which 0.2% won't sustain them.