Android Hits 51% Smartphone Use, Says comScore

New figures have revealed the scale of the problem that Microsoft has to address with its Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system.

Android continued to grow its share in the US smartphone market, accounting for 51 percent of smartphone subscribers, while Apple captured more than 30 percent, according to data from the comScore MobiLens service, which reported on key trends in the US mobile phone industry during the three month average period ending March 2012.

Samsung Domination

Samsung was the top handset manufacturer overall, with 26.0 percent market share, according to the study, which is based on a survey of more than 30,000 US mobile subscribers.

For the three-month average period ending in March, 234 million Americans, ages 13 and older, used mobile devices. Samsung ranked as the top OEM, with 26 percent of US mobile subscribers (up 0.7 percentage points), followed by LG with 19.3 percent share. Apple continued to gain share in the OEM market, ranking third with 14 percent of mobile subscribers (up 1.6 percentage points), followed by Motorola with 12.8 percent and HTC with 6 percent.

More than 106 million people in the United States owned smartphones during the three months ending in March, up 9 percent from December.

Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform, with 51 percent market share (up 3.7 percentage points). Apple’s share of the smartphone market increased 1.1 percentage points to 30.7 percent. BlackBerry maker Research in Motion ranked third, with 12.3 percent share, followed by Microsoft (3.9 percent) and Symbian (1.4 percent).

In March, 74.3 percent of US mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device. Downloaded applications were used by 50 percent of subscribers (up 2.4 percentage points), while browsers were used by 49.3 percent (up 1.8 percentage points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 0.8 percentage points to 36.1 percent of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 32.6 percent of the mobile audience (up 1.2 percentage points), while 25.3 percent listened to music on their phones (up 1.5 percentage points).

Online Patterns

While Apple and Android may be dominating the market, another study by comScore found their customer bases use the phones differently. comScore released an analysis of mobile and Wi-Fi Internet usage on smartphones in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Based on data from comScore Device Essentials, the report offered an analysis of the share of unique smartphones connecting to operator and Wi-Fi networks to provide insight into Internet connection patterns across markets. Among its findings, the analysis shows a significantly higher percentage of iPhones than Android phones connecting to the Internet via Wi-Fi networks.

A US analysis of Wi-Fi and mobile Internet usage across unique smartphones on the iOS and Android platforms reveals that 71 percent of all unique iPhones used both mobile and Wi-Fi networks to connect to the Internet, while only 32 percent of unique Android mobile phones used both types of connections.

A further analysis of this pattern of behaviour in the United Kingdom shows consistent results, as 87 percent of unique iPhones used both mobile and WiFi networks for Web access, compared with 57 percent of Android phones.

How much do you know about smartphones? Find out with our quiz!

Nathan Eddy

Nathan Eddy is a contributor to eWeek and TechWeekEurope, covering cloud and BYOD

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