Samsung and Apple battle in the smartphone space, but a measure of the complete phone market puts Samsung on top, with Apple falling to fourth, behind LG and Motorola.
Samsung phones were used by
more Americans than any other mobile brand during the three months ending in
January, comScore reported March 6.
The firm added that while
234 million Americans used mobile devices, 101.3 million are now pocketing
smartphonesa figure that jumped 13 percent from the three months ending in
October 2011. comScore's findings were based on surveys of 30,000 U.S. mobile
subscribers age 13 and older.
In January, IHS
that the introduction of the iPhone 4S, which customers
had been waiting for, made Apple the top-shipping smartphone maker during the
fourth quarter of 2011, though Samsung was the top seller for the yearshipping
95 million smartphones overall to Apple's 93 million.
While Apple's focus is
exclusively on the smartphone market, Samsung's success seems to come from also
the lower-end smartphones and feature phones that round out its portfolio. With
234 million Americans using mobile devices, and 101 million-plus with
smartphones, that leaves nearly 133 million still relying on feature phonesdespite
carriers' best efforts.
Feature phone dominance is
indeed backed up by comScore's findings, with top-smartphone-shipper Apple
ranking behind Samsung in fourth, beating out only BlackBerry maker Research In
During the last three
months, 25.4 percent of Americans were using Samsung handsets, holding steady from
October's 25.5 percent. LG devices were used by nearly 20 percent of mobile
subscribers, also more or less holding steady. Motorola, in third place, dipped
only slightly, from 13.2 percent to 13.6 percent.
Apple's mobile subscriber
market share posted the most dramatic change, though, as consumers likely
jumped on the new 4S or reduced iPhone 4 deals. Americans with iPhones
comprised nearly 13 percent of all mobile subscribers, up from nearly 11
percent in October.
Given that Samsung, LG and
Motorola all offer Android handsets, it's unsurprising that the Google platform
again led in market share, rising from 46.3 percent in October to 48.6 percent
ending in January. Apple's share rose from 28.1 to 29.5 percent, and behind it,
RIM dipped to 15.2 percent from 17.2 percent and Microsoft from 5.4 to 4.4
Text messaging is still the
most popular function, now used by nearly 75 percent of American mobile
subscribers, up from nearly 72 percent. But it was app downloading that showed
the most significant change of any content use, climbing from use by nearly 44
percent of subscribers to nearly 49 percent. Just behind was using the browser,
which now 48.5 percent of users are doing, up from 44 percent.
Behind browsing, using
social networking sites, or globs, rose 3.4 points to 35.7 percent of
subscribers, and next up was game playing, increasing 2.6 pointsthe most
subtle rise of the top six categoriesto 31.8 percent.
Finally, during the last
three months, 24.5 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers also used their phones to
listen to music, an increase of 3.3 percent.