Google's Android mobile operating platform continued to capture share in the smartphone market, according to new report from IT research firm comScore (NASDAQ: SCOR). For the three-month period ending in November, the Android OS garnered market share of 46.9 percent, up 3.1 percentage points from the prior three-month period.
Apple maintained its No. 2 position, growing 1.4 percentage points to 28.7 percent of the smartphone market. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion ranked third, with 16.6 percent share, followed by Microsoft (5.2 percent) and Symbian (1.5 percent), the comScore study shows.
The report found 91.4 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in November, up 8 percent from the preceding three-month period, and 234 million Americans aged 13 and older used mobile devices.
Device manufacturer Samsung ranked as the top OEM, with 25.6 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers (up 0.3 percentage points), followed by LG, with 20.5 percent share, and Motorola, with 13.7 percent share. Apple strengthened its position in fourth place, with 11.2 percent share of total mobile subscribers (up 1.4 percentage points), while RIM rounded out the top five, with 6.5 percent share.
In November, 72.6 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile devices, up 2.1 percentage points, the study found. Downloaded applications were used by 44.9 percent of subscribers (up 3.3 percentage points), while browsers were used by 44.4 percent (up 2.3 percentage points). Accessing of social-networking sites like Facebook or Twitter or blogs increased 2.1 percentage points to 33 percent of mobile subscribers. Playing mobile games was done by 29.7 percent of the mobile audience (up 1.2 percentage points), while 21.7 percent listened to music on their phones (up 1.0 percentage points).
The study measured key trends in the U.S. mobile phone industry during the three-month average period ending November 2011. The study surveyed more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers and found Samsung to be the top handset manufacturer overall with 25.6 percent market share.
Mobile users are just adding to the steady growth of social-networking sites, a recent comScore study targeting the prominence of social-networking sites found. Facebook remains the undisputed leader in the U.S. social-networking market, with 166 million unique visitors in November. The average user spent 6.6 hours per person engaged on the site during the month, an increase of 37 percent in the past year. Meanwhile, LinkedIn and microblogging site Twitter have been jockeying over the past several months for the No. 2 spot in audience size. In November, Twitter eked out the second position, with 35.4 million unique visitors, just slightly ahead of LinkedIn, with 35 million. Myspace currently owns the No. 4 position, with 25 million visitors, but the report notes it has seen a steady decline in audience over the past two years.