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comScore-Smartphone-Share-of-Mobile-Subscriber-Market-Oct2011-Jan2014-Mar2014Smartphone penetration continues to grow with every passing month, and the latest tally from comScore indicates that during the 3-month average ending in January 2014, some 66.8% of mobile subscribers in the US owned a smartphone. That translates to almost 160 million Americans, and is up from 55% market penetration during the year-earlier period. Given that comScore reports these figures in 3-month averages, the actual figure for January of this year is likely even higher.

Compared to comScore’s previous 3-month rolling average (which ended in December 2013), the top smartphone platforms remained mostly constant, trading 0.2% points – with Android’s market share inching up to 51.7% and Apple’s dipping to 41.6%.

Compared to the year-earlier period, though, Android’s share has slipped a little, while Apple has gained. Last year, Android’s share at this point was 52.3%, while Apple’s was 37.8%.

When it comes to the top OEM rankings, Apple’s 41.6% market share remains a significant distance ahead of Samsung’s 26.7% share, though Samsung has grown more quickly over the past year.

Given the recent big news from comScore that Americans now spend more time with mobile applications than they do accessing the internet via a desktop, it’s more pertinent than ever to take a look at the top smartphone applications.

In January, Facebook remained the top mobile app by reach – defined as adult smartphone users on iOS and Android platforms (remember that together these platforms comprise 93.3% of the smartphone market for those aged 13 and up). With 77.6% reach, Facebook was far ahead of its closest competitor, Google Play, which was the only other app with majority reach (52.4%). Rounding out the top 5 were YouTube (49.7%), Google Search (48.9%) and Pandora Radio (46.4%), with Instagram remaining in the 10th spot (27.5%).

Broadening the analysis to the top 15 properties for the smartphone app and browsing audience, comScore finds that Google Sites remains the leader at 89.4% reach, closely followed by Facebook (86.6%) and Yahoo Sites (86.2%). Rounding out the top 5 properties were Amazon Sites (69%) and AOL (56.9%).

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