U.S. Smartphone Use Grows as Android OS Surges
More Americans are ditching their "dumb" phones and buying features-loaded, powerful smartphones, according to a new study from comScore, a market research firm.
Smartphone ownership surged 8.1 percent over the last three months to now comprise nearly 50 million United States cell phone users, the study found.
Meanwhile, the smartphone operating system (OS) that saw the biggest gain over the last quarter was Google's Android , which jumped from use on nine percent to 13 percent of handsets from earlier in the year.
Android has a long way to go before vying for the top spot held by Research in Motion (RIM), the makers of the BlackBerry, which holds a whopping 41.7 percent market share. RIM's dominant position has slipped slightly, however, down from 42.1 percent back in the winter.
Apple, the number two OS maker, dropped a percentage point from 25.4 to 24.4. This dip is not particularly surprising given that over the studied period Apple was gearing up for the launch of its next-generation iPhone 4, which debuted in early June.
Given the breakneck pace of 1.7 million iPhone units being sold in just the first three days , expect to see Apple's slice of the pie grow in the third quarter; that is, if the iPhone 4's reception issues do not bog the device down.
Microsoft suffered the biggest OS fall, from 15.1 percent to 13.2, but the new Windows Phone 7 OS , which is right around the corner, might buoy the tech giant's market share.
In terms of mobile subscribers, Samsung dethroned LG and Motorola (for the moment) with 22.4 percent of cell phone users relying on its handsets compared to 21.5 percent and 21.2 percent, respectively.
Samsung for its part gained a full percentage point since February while Motorola lost 1.1 and LG shed two-tenths of a point. Rounding out the top five mobile sellers in the United States are RIM with 8.7 percent and Nokia with 8.1 percent, though Nokia is the world's top cell phone producer.