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June 28, 2013

Apple, Android Keep Leadership in U.S. Smartphone Market

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor

Apple was the top smartphone manufacturer in the U.S. market in the March through May period of 2013, comScore (News - Alert) reports, with 39 percent market share. Google Android was the leading smartphone platform with 52 percent market share.

As happy as service providers might be that the switch to smartphones is driving their mobile data revenues, none can be too pleased that influence within the ecosystem has shifted in the direction of device suppliers.

Though the smartphone now has become the emotional connection people have to mobile service, making an intangible service “tangible,” that arguably also shifts ecosystem influence to the device suppliers. That is one reason some tier-one mobile operators are backing rivals including Firefox and Windows Mobile operating systems.

Service providers are not without influence when it comes to enticing consumers to choose devices and operating systems other than Apple or Android (News - Alert). They can choose to subsidize some devices more than others or market some devices more than others, for example.

Still, in the end, consumers largely will determine the outcome. Apple (News - Alert) and Samsung had 62 share of the 141 million U.S.-owned smartphones in the March to May 2013 period, comScore reports.

Apple had 39 percent of the installed base, while Samsung had 23 percent. HTC (News - Alert) had nearly 9 percent while Motorola had nearly 8 percent and LG had nearly 7 percent.

Though some will question how much benefit Google has yet reaped as a result of its Android initiative, Android ranked as the top smartphone platform in May 2012 with 52 percent market share.

Apple ranked second with 39 percent market share, followed by BlackBerry (News - Alert) with nearly 5 percent and Microsoft with 3 percent.

And we sometimes forget how rapidly operating system preferences have changed. Until 2010, Symbian lead globally. At the beginning of 2008, Android wasn’t a commercial platform.

By 2010, Android had become the clear market share leader (sales, not installed base) globally.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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