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Apple, Google both increase smartphone share over summer

updated 01:31 am EDT, Fri September 28, 2012

Android not growing as fast as iOS, both stealing from others

Apple's iOS mobile platform and Google's Android platform continued to grow marketshare in smartphone use, mostly at the expense of rival platforms such as BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Symbian. While the Android platform overall remained the most widely-used at 52.2 percent (an increase of 1.4 percent from April), Apple's three-model iOS platform grew at a rate of two percent, despite the then-assumed imminent arrival of the iPhone 5. Google and Apple's combined gain of 3.4 percent almost exactly matches the loss from other platforms, at three percent.

Beleagured Research In Motion (RIM), makers of the BlackBerry, dropped the most significantly of the alternative platforms, going from 11.6 percent share to 9.5 percent, a lost of 2.1 percent. Windows Phone continued to be unable to find traction in the market, losing 0.4 percent and now down to 3.6 percent over the summer. Some have suggested that a turnaround could occur once more Windows 8 phones are actually available, but others argue that the majority of the smartphone market is already "locked in" to either iOS or Android and is unlikely to switch in great numbers, leaving very little "oxygen left in the room." Symbian dropped 0.5 percent to secure a mere 0.8 percent of smartphone users.

The survey of users comes from comScore's MobiLens, and queried US smartphone users ages 13 and up about their platform choices and what specific brands they chose. Three months ago, Google and Apple's growth rate was nearly even, with Android slightly outpacing iOS by 2.2 percent to 1.9 percent. An earlier study showed that although Apple is a distant second to Google in overall smartphone share, when all iOS and Android devices are included the tables are turned.

Samsung retained its lead as the top individual smartphone brand, but saw a small drop from 25.9 percent to 25.6 percent over the summer amongst all mobile phone users. In fact, all Android-dominated brands saw small drops apart from HTC, which managed to gain 0.4 percent share to finish July at 6.4 percent. Apple managed the largest growth among the combined smartphone and non-smartphone audience, rising 1.9 percent to a fourth-place ranking of 16.3 percent.

Also part of the survey was the finding that text messaging, mobile web browsing, social networking and listening to music were all up over the results in April. Text messaging surpassed all records, with over three quarters of users engaging in the service (75.6 percent). About half of users reported that they surfed the web on their smartphones, while almost 38 percent said they used a social networking site. Music listening rose 2.5 percent to reach 28.3 percent.

by MacNN Staff



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