Apple iOS gains on Google Android in mobile OS race

Android is still in the lead, but with the arrival of the new iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, Apple's iOS narrowed the gap.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated share variations as percentages, not percentage points. The story has been updated to reflect this.

comScore's latest quarterly surveys for the U.S. mobile phone wars are out for the summer months. While Google's Android operating system still leads the pack with 51.6 percent of the platform market share, Apple moved up to 40.7 percent, even before the sensational September sales of its iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s.

comScore Mobile OS Aug. 2013

Apple's iOS's gains came at the expense of Android, which saw its market share decrease from 52.4 percent to 51.6 percent, and the beleaguered BlackBerry, which also lost 0.8 percentage points. Blackberry now holds a mere 4 percent of the overall market. Microsoft, with Windows Phone 8, crept up by 0.2 percentage points to a 3.2 percent share.

As for smartphone brands, Apple remains on top, with 40.7 percent of the US OEM market. Samsung stays in second place, with 24.3 percent. The other major smartphone vendors, HTC, Motorola, and LG, either lost market share or stayed level, well behind the two leading smartphone vendors.

With the number of smartphone owners in the US now topping 145 million, users increasingly rely on their mobile devices for their internet access. This brings the total smartphone market penetration to 60.8 percent in August, up 3 percent since May.

Once on the internet with their smartphones, 92.2 percent of users visit Google sites, followed by Facebook, at 84.6 percent; somewhat surprisingly, 83.2 percent visit Yahoo sites; and 68.6 percent go to Amazon sites. This mirrors overall US internet use, where Google, followed by Facebook, are the top two contenders.

When it comes to internet-based apps, the story is slightly different. By comScore's count, Facebook ranked as the top smartphone app, with 75.7 percent of the app audience. This was followed by five Google-owned apps: Google Search, at 53.9 percent; Google Play, at 53.2 percent; YouTube, at 52.8 percent; Google Maps, at 46.1 percent; and Gmail, at 44.3 percent.

Corrected on October 7 at 9am EDT.

Related stories:

Editorial standards