updated 08:25 pm EDT, Fri November 4, 2011
Only manufacturer to grow share in 3rd quarter
As mentioned earlier, the iPhone has now passed the 10 percent mark for the entire mobile subscriber base for the first time, rising to 10.2 percent of the overall cell phone market. While significant, more notable is the fact that Apple was alone among the top five handset makers to grow its marketshare in the third quarter, according to comScore.
While close rival Samsung didn't lose any subscribers, the other members of the top five (LG, Motorola and RIM) all lost subscribers (approximately 0.7-0.8 percent each). Apple is now positioned at number four, but should it continue to gain share (very likely given the popularity of the iPhone 4S), particularly if some of the gain comes from Motorola, Apple could find itself starting 2012 as the number three phone manufacturer.
Samsung, with 25.3 percent of the mobile subscriber base, is currently in no danger of losing its crown. The company is well-positioned to continue to reap share from others, as the shift from feature phones to smartphones goes on and the growth of data use by cell phone users continues to expand. A survey of 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers found that the number of smartphone users had grown 12 percent from the previous quarter, to 87.4 million (of 234 million who use some sort of mobile device).
Android use has increased 4.6 percent in the same period, with Apple growing 0.8 percent. Mobile web browser use increased 2.8 percent, and downloading apps increased three percent. Android was the top-ranked phone OS with 44.8 percent, with iOS on iPhones reaching 27.4 percent of the market.