iPhone, Samsung Handsets Lead Smartphone Market: ComScore

With nearly 150 million U.S. smartphone users, Apple's iPhone and Samsung handsets are the most popular choice for consumers, ComScore reports.

Apple ranked as the top smartphone manufacturer with 40.6 percent OEM market while Google Android led as the top smartphone platform with 52.2 percent platform market share, according to ComScore’s October MobiLens and Mobile Metrix reports.

Samsung ranked second with 25.4 percent market share (up 1.3 percentage points), while Motorola made the leap to third with 7 percent (up 0.1 percentage points). HTC and LG followed with 6.7 percent and 6.6 percent to round out the top five.

The iPhone maker followed Android in second place for operating system (OS) marketshare with 40.6 percent (up 0.2 percentage points), with BlackBerry placing third at 3.6 percent, Microsoft in fourth place with 3.2 percent (up 0.2 percentage points) and Symbian rounding out the top five with 0.2 percent market share.

Social networking site Facebook ranked as the top smartphone application, reaching 75.7 percent of the app audience, followed by Google Play at 54 percent, Google Search at 52.2 percent, and Pandora at 48.2 percent.

Google sites ranked as the top Web property on smartphones, reaching 88 percent of the mobile media audience (mobile browsing and app usage), followed by Facebook at 84.4 percent, Yahoo sites at 77.9 percent and Amazon sites at 65.3 percent.

The report noted 149.2 million people in the United States owned smartphones, accounting for 62.5 percent mobile market penetration, during the three months ending in October, up 4.1 percent since July.

Apple’s latest version of its mobile platform, iOS 7, is a major hit with consumers, according to the company’s internal figures. As of Dec. 1, nearly three-quarters, or 74 percent, of devices are running the OS. The adoption rate is even more impressive when taking into account the fact that iOS 7 represented a major overhaul of the platform and has been available to consumers for less than three months.

The last version of the software, iOS 6, represented 22 percent of Apple devices, with the remaining 4 percent of iOS hardware running older operating systems.

In addition, the new iPhone 5C and 5S models have helped boost Apple's market share compared with the previous month but have not yet seen the same uplift as when the iPhone 5 was released, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, reporting for the three months to October 2013.

Across the pond, mainland Europe remains more challenging for iOS, particularly in markets like Italy and Germany, where handset subsidies are far lower.

The story in Britain is more positive, where iOS sales share is now at 28.7 percent for the last three months, with sales driven by the higher-end 5S model, which has outsold the 5C by 3 to 1 since their release.