While Google Android remained the second-most-popular US smartphone platform in the three-month-average ending December 2010 with 28.7% market share, that share improved about 34% from 21.4% in the three-month-average ending September 2010, according to new comScore data. In contrast, number one RIM saw its market share drop 15%, from 37.3% to 31.6%.
Apple Grows Slightly
Apple’s share of the US smartphone platform market grew about 3%, from 24.3% to 25%, keeping it in third place. Rounding out the top five US smartphone platform providers, Microsoft and Palm both saw their single-digit shares dwindle. The total number of US smartphone owners in December 2010, 63.2 million, was up 60% from one year earlier.
Samsung Broadens OEM Lead
For the three-month-average period ending in December 2010, 234 million Americans ages 13 and older used mobile devices. Device manufacturer Samsung ranked as the top OEM with 24.8% of U.S. mobile subscribers, up 5.5% from 23.3% during the three-month period ending in September 2010.
LG ranked second with 20.9% share, down almost 1% from September 2010. Following were Motorola (16.7%), RIM (8.5%) and Nokia (7%). All three of these OEM providers lost market share compared to three months earlier, especially Motorola and RIM (about 9% each).
Mobile Content Usage Increases
In December 2010, all five types of mobile content usage tracked by comScore increased in popularity with US smartphone users compared to September 2010. Sixty-eight percent of US mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 1% from 67%, while 36.4% used browsers, up 4% from 35.1%.
Subscribers who used downloaded applications comprised 34.4% of the mobile audience, also representing an increase of 4%. Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 6%, representing 24.7 percent of mobile subscribers. Playing games attracted 23.2% of the mobile audience (up fractionally), while listening to music attracted 15.7% (up 3%).
Hispanics, Asians Most Likely US Smartphone Owners
As of December 2010, nearly a third (31%) of all mobile consumers in the US owned smartphones, according to data from The Nielsen Company. But smartphone penetration is even higher among mobile users who are part of ethnic and racial minorities in the US; namely Asian/Pacific Islanders (45%), Hispanics (45%) and African-Americans (33%), populations that also tend to skew younger. Meanwhile, only 27% of white mobile users reported owning a smartphone.