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comScore: Android dominates with 51% US market share, Samsung still top OEM

May 2, 2012

Do you happen to have 30,000 friends on Facebook and wonder about which smartphone they use and what they use it for? comScore is here to answer those questions and more. The research firm has released the result of its latest study on key trends in US mobile phone industry, which surveyed more than 30,000 smartphone owners in the country on what handset they use, their platform of choice, and what their mobile habits are.

There’s no change at the top in the OEM market share, with Samsung standing firm as the top phone brand among US mobile subscribers. In Q1 2012, Samsung grabbed a 26% market share, which is a 0.7% increase over Q4 2011. LG is second on the list with 19.3%, a slight decrease over the 20% market share that it nabbed in the previous quarter.  The rest of the non-movers include Apple, Motorola, and HTC with 14%, 12.8%, and 6% share – respectively.

In the battle of smartphone platform market share, Google’s Android OS solidifies its position at the summit by securing a 51% market share, an increase of 3.7 percentage points from the previous quarter. Apple also posted solid gain as it increased its market share by 1.1 percentage points to 30.7%. RIM and Microsoft both plunged further down the list as they grabbed 12.3% and 3.9% market share – a drop of 3.7 and 0.8 percentage points. Nokia’s Symbian OS remained at the bottom of the list with 1.4% market share.  comScore notes that the number of smartphone owners in the US rose 9% to 106 million people in March 2012.

When it comes to the most common activities that users do on smartphones, it appears texting was still the top activity with 74.3%. More people were found to be downloading apps, as the number went up 2.4 percentage points to 50%. Browsing was also a popular activity, as it was used by 49.3% of the respondents, an increase of 1.8 percentage points. Friending, defriending, and other social networking-related activities were up 0.8 percentage points to 36.1%, while game-playing and music listening  made up the last two with 32.6% and 25.3%.

Though it seems like it’s been smooth sailing to world domination for the Android platform, just two years ago, the mobile OS scene looked starkly different. Back then, RIM still held the largest platform share, with Apple on second place. Meanwhile, Google had to duke it out with “other platform” for third place.

But like Heidi Klum used to say, one day you’re in and one day you’re out. While Google has gone from strength to strength, RIM is rapidly losing its relevance. It’ll be interesting to see what the landscape will look like two years from now.