Samsung retains U.S. smartphone crown, Apple rapidly catching up

Summary:There's absolutely no doubt that month-on-month, Apple is catching up to market leader Samsung in the U.S. mobile market share race.

Latest comScore figures show that while Samsung remains at the top of the U.S. smartphone market share rankings, Apple is rapidly catching up to its staunch rival.

The figures for the August 2012 report, collected from more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers, show that Samsung's share remains flat, compared to a significant growth for Apple. Interestingly, the figures close before the iPhone 5 was released -- let alone announced -- showing an increase in iPhone uptake ahead of the expected next-generation Apple smartphone.

Apple's smartphone share grew 2.1 percent -- the highest increase in mobile subscribers seen since April -- edging closer to second-place smartphone maker LG, which dropped by close to 1 percent in the three-month average period ending in August. 

In the race for the top two podium spaces, it's clear that by comScore's next monthly report, Apple could rise to second place, ready and braced to take on the rival Android maker at the top of the rankings. 

Screen Shot 2012-10-02 at 17.14.06

Though HTC grew by 0.2 percent in the August report, the Taiwanese firm continues to struggle with poor smartphone sales and sinking revenue. HTC's second-quarter earnings in July  reported a 57 percent decline in net profit  year-on-year.

Meanwhile, Google-owned Motorola Mobility dipped by 0.8 percent, currently standing at 11.2 percent of the U.S. smartphone market share.

On platform market share, only Apple and Google managed to secure an increase in subscribers, while the other platform makers saw a decline.

Android operating system increased marginally by 1.7 percent to 52.6 percent in total. Google, which develops the mobile operating system, said last month that there are more than 1.3 million Android activations per day, an increase from 1 million per day in June. In total, this represents more than a half-billion Android devices activated in total since the mobile software was first launched.

Apple, however, stormed ahead with its iOS software with an increase of 2.4 percent to 34.3 percent.

Screen Shot 2012-10-02 at 17.14.17

On the other hand, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion saw the greatest loss with 3.1 percent in the platform space. The ailing smartphone maker has seen consistent losses through the year, but has now dropped below the 10 percent mark to single figures in share.

Microsoft's Windows Phone and Nokia's Symbian operating systems declined by 0.4 percent each, representing bittersweet news for the Finnish phone maker.

Symbian's decline comes as a blessing for Nokia as it continues to plug the Windows Phone platform through its 'special relationship' with Microsoft. But for Microsoft, this represents a continued headache for the software giant as it seeks to drum up support for the mobile platform -- only weeks away from an expected Windows Phone 8 launch  -- but falls below the radar in favor of the major players in the platform race. 

Image credits: comScore. 

Topics: Smartphones, Apple, BlackBerry, Google, iPhone, Microsoft, Samsung, Windows

About

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

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