Google's Android operating system soared to 9 percent market share from December 2009 through February 2010, buoyed by strong sales for the Motorola Droid from Verizon Wireless. ComScore said smartphone use grew 21 percent from December 2009 through February 2010, with some 45.4 million people using handsets with full HTML Web browsers in the U.S. Microsoft lost 4 percent OS market share, which could point to where Google's 5.2 percent share gain came from. Palm also lost share, dipping from 7.2 percent share through November 2009 to 5.4 percent share through February 2010.
Smartphone use grew 21 percent from December 2009 through February 2010,
with some 45.4 million people using handsets with full HTML Web browsers in the
according to new statistics from comScore
Google's Android operating system was the chief beneficiary of this growth
spurt, rising to 9 percent market share from 3.8 percent from September 2009
through November 2009. That 5.2 percentage point gain was spurred by Verizon
Wireless' successful November launch of the Motorola Droid
that Android 2.0 device with a $100 million marketing
campaign, which enabled the carrier to sell hundreds of thousands
of Droids during the holidays.
HTC's Droid Eris joined the Droid from
Verizon, while Sprint's HTC Hero
and Samsung's Moment joined
the Android party for the holidays.
Android's growth was great, but the platform still stands a distant fourth
in the smartphone market. Research In Motion is the dominant leader, with 42
percent of the market, followed by Apple's iPhone at 25.4 percent and Microsoft
Windows Mobile, which garnered 15 percent share.
Microsoft lost 4 percent OS market share from December 2009 through February
2010, which could point to where Google's 5.2 percent share gain came from.
Palm also lost share, dipping from 7.2 percent share to 5.4 percent share over
the same period.
ComScore also tracked content consumption on mobile phones and found that 18
percent of U.S.
mobile subscribers used social networking Websites such as Facebook and Twitter
from December 2009 through February 2010, up from 15.1 percent in the
three-month period through November 2009.
Some 29.4 percent of subscribers used a Web browser, up 2.4 percent from 27
percent over the same period a year ago. The increased Web browser and social
networking use proves that Web content consumption is seeing solid growth, no
doubt a sign of the improved Internet experience of today's handsets,
Text messaging to other phones, use of downloaded apps, gaming and music on
mobile phones all saw growth from U.S.
mobile subscribers over the time frame comScore tracked.
Meanwhile, Nielsen posted its own smartphone study April 5, noting that 21
percent of American wireless subscribers are using a smartphone as of the
fourth quarter 2009, compared with 19 percent in the third quarter 2009 and 14
percent at the end of 2008.
"We are just at the beginning of a new wireless era where smartphones
will become the standard device consumers will use to connect to friends, the
Internet and the world at large," wrote
Nielsen analyst Roger Entner.
The analyst added that the share of smartphones as a proportion of overall
device sales has increased to 29 percent for phone purchasers in the last six
months, with 45 percent of respondents to a Nielsen survey claiming that their
next device will be a smartphone.
"If we combine these intentional data points with falling prices and
increasing capabilities of these devices along with an explosion of
applications for devices, we are seeing the beginning of a groundswell,"
Entner said. "This increase will be so rapid that by the end of 2011
Nielsen expects more smartphones in the U.S.
market than feature phones."