Samsung: The only Android smartphone maker that matters

The latest smartphone figures from analyst firm comScore show that Samsung is pretty much the only Android phone maker that matters.
Written by James Kendrick, Contributor

Mobile analytic firm comScore released smartphone figures covering through December of 2012 and the strength of Samsung stands out in the crowded Android field. Apple is still the number one smartphone maker in the U.S. and Samsung is firmly number two while dominating the Android world.

Smartphone OEM 12-2012

Subscriber numbers for Apple iPhones and Samsung phones increased in the last quarter of 2012 by similar amounts, giving Apple a solid 36.3 percent and Samsung 21 percent. That puts Samsung close to 11 percent more than the next nearest competitor, HTC.

Note 2 and pen
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and S Pen

That's significant because Samsung is selling mostly Android phones while HTC is heavily pushing Windows Phones in addition to Android handsets. While Samsung's share grew 2.3 percent HTC's dropped 1.8 percent. You could almost say Samsung grew share at HTC's expense in spite of Windows Phone 8 launching during that quarter.

Motorola had a modest 0.7 percent drop in share over the same quarter but given HTC's larger drop only a percent point separates the two. LG actually gained half a point but still lags behind the other Android phone makers by at least two percentage points.

When you look at this chart, of the four top Android handset makers Samsung has market share at least double that of any of its competitors. It's three times that of LG, the number four Android phone maker.

This market share chart makes one thing crystal clear: Android phone makers are not only up against Apple and the iPhone. They are firmly competing with Samsung, too. It's almost unfair that Android OEMs have to compete against two big dogs.

See related:

Smartphone operating systems: The rise of Android, the fall of Windows

Apple first, Samsung second in U.S. smartphone market

Top Android apps for the Galaxy Note 2 including multi-view usage

Samsung invests in Wacom digitizer and pens

Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Big enough to be worth the trouble

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