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

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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