comScore: Apple continues to gain on Google in U.S. market share

Apple continues to see platform and usage gains on Android, which is slowing in growth as the market becomes saturated, and by next month could be in second place only to replace LG.

Latest comScore figures for the last three months ending in September shows that Apple continues to gain on its arch-rival Google in mobile platform market share. 

The figures for the September 2012 report, collected from more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers, suggest Samsung's mobile phone share grew by a fraction of a percent, partially thanks to its range of low-budget phones and cheap Android smartphones, while Apple stormed ahead with the profit-premium iPhone handset.

Samsung's share grew by 0.4 percent, while Apple gained 2.1 percent -- the same percentage point gain as last comScore's August figures -- as the Cupertino, CA.-based technology giant continues to clamber towards Samsung's top spot. 

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However, Samsung and Apple's gains came at the expense of Google-owned Motorola Mobility, which lost 0.8 percent, while troubled phone maker HTC dropped a smaller 0.2 percent. The greatest loss was for LG, which dropped 1.1 percent in market share rankings, and now sits just above Apple in second place.

Should Apple's momentum continue through October, Apple could close in the gap on Samsung even more by reaching second place in U.S. market share rankings.

Meanwhile, in the battle for the mobile platform and operating system share, Google retains a more-than 18 percentage point lead over Apple with its Android mobile operating system, but growth is slowing and Apple's iOS continues to gain pace.

Android's share grew by a modest 0.9 percent in the U.S. market, rising to 52.5 percent in total, thanks to Samsung's gain in the high-end smartphone market. Just today, Samsung announced that it had sold 3 million Galaxy Note 2 smartphones in 30 days, while the Samsung Galaxy S III had hit a key 30 million milestone.

Samsung's gain, after all, is Google's gain in the mobile platform space. 

Apple saw the greatest platform growth with iOS, an increase by 1.9 percent to 34.3 percent. Month-on-month, Apple is gaining more in point changes than Android.

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However, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion saw the greatest drop by 2.3 percent to 8.4 percent of the U.S. mobile market. Month-on-month, RIM has seen a slow decline in platform usage.

For RIM and Apple respectively, because their software is tied exclusively to their own built hardware, it shows that Apple's iPhone has gained in sales -- which we know from recent Apple fourth quarter earnings  -- while BlackBerry sales figures are on the decline. It comes in the same fortnight that two major U.S. government departments, notably U.S. Customs and the Pentagon , have decided to expand to other smartphone makers in a bid to move away from the ailing, albeit secure BlackBerry platform.

Microsoft's Windows Phone share dipped by 0.2 percent, a smaller loss on previous months . It comes as the software giant launched late in October the latest iteration of the mobile operating system , Windows Phone 8.

On the other hand, Nokia's Symbian platform also dropped by 0.3 percent, which Nokia will see as a blessing as it aims to move away from the now defunct platform.

Image credits: comScore.