Apple, Samsung Battle for Hearts and Minds of U.S. Smartphone Users
Samsung devices are by far the choice of U.S. mobile subscribers, comScore reported April 3, concluding a three-month study, ending in February, of more than 30,000 subscribers. Meanwhile, Apple's iPhone also continues to gain in popularity as the fight between iOS and Android continues.
The comScore study found Samsung devices--smartphones and otherwise--to be in the hands of 25.6 percent of Americans age 13 and older. The figure held exactly steady from the results of a similar three-month study ending in November.
LG Electronics came in second, now used by 19.4 percent of Americans, versus 20.5 percent in November. Meanwhile, Apple jumped ahead of Motorola into third place, rising from 11.2 percent in November to 13.5 percent in February--the highest change among any top-five brand.
No. 4 Motorola dropped from a 13.7 percent market share to 12.8 percent, while HTC took the No. 5 spot, inching up from 5.9 to 6.3 percent.
In total, comScore found 234 million Americans to be using mobile devices. Smartphones in particular are now used by 104 million people--up 14 percent from November.
Broken down by mobile platform, it was Google's Android, however, that did the quickest rising, with the platform now used by 50.1 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers, versus 46.9 percent in November.
Apple, in second place, logged a 30.2 percent share in February, up from 28.7 percent, while Research In Motion, in third place, fell to 13.4 percent, from 16.6 percent.
Microsoft--whose fortunes, and market share, are widely expected to rise this year had a 3.9 percent share of the market in February, down from 5.2 percent in November, followed by Symbian, with a steady 1.5 percent share.
When it's phone purchases--or at least shipments--that are considered on a global scale, it's Nokia that takes the top prize. Or at least it did during the fourth quarter of 2011, according to research firm IDC. Nokia's numbers continue to slip, however they moved to 113.5 million units during the quarter, down from 123.7 million units a year ago and Samsung is gaining on it fast.
On the success of its Galaxy line, Samsung shipped 97.6 million devices during the quarter, up from 80.7 million a year ago. Apple managed to take the No. 3 global spot, jumping from 16.2 million units to 37 million during the quarter. LG followed in fourth, and ZTE, on the success of its feature phones, kept HTC out of the global top five.
Analysts with Canaccord Genuity are expecting Samsung's star to continue to rise, with March seeing stronger sell-through trends than February, though they call the Apple iPhone 4S the top smartphone in the U.S. market. In an April 1 research note, they wrote that they expect iPhone sales to remain strong in the U.S. as well as leading international markets such as Brazil, China and Russia.
As for Samsung, the analysts noted, "We believe Samsung's strong smartphone portfolio across all price tiers will result in Samsung's smartphone shipments increasing a remarkable 15%-plus sequentially during the seasonally weak March quarter."
Month-over-month, from December through March, Canaccord found the top-selling vendors to respectively be, without change: Apple, Samsung, Motorola and HTC. In January and February, Nokia attached itself to the bottom of the list.
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