Published On: Wed, Mar 6th, 2013

Apple iOS Makes Dent in Android’s U.S. Smartphone Lead

Apple stayed atop the smartphone business over the holiday season, nabbing almost 38 percent of the U.S. market in the three months that ended in January. Google’s Android was the most popular smartphone OS, with 52.3 percent, but it saw a slight decline.

According to Wednesday stats from comScore, Apple ended that three-month period with 37.8 percent of the smartphone market, up 3.5 percent from October. The iPhone 5 landed in late September, at which time prices on older iPhone versions dropped.

Samsung, meanwhile, saw a 1.9 percent uptick in U.S. market share to 21.4 percent during the same time period, helped by the Android-based Galaxy S III $99.99 at Let’s Talk and Galaxy Note II devices.

Apple iOS Makes Dent in Android's U.S. Smartphone Lead

Despite its recent struggles, HTC landed in the No. 3 spot among smartphone makers with 9.7 percent, though that was down 1.7 percent from October. Motorola and LG rounded out the top five with 8.6 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

On the OS front, Google’s Android was still the most popular, running on 52.3 percent of U.S. smartphones, but that was down a slight 1.3 percent. Apple actually ended up with the same OS market share as smartphone market share – 37.8 percent, which was also up 3.5 percent.

None of the other smartphone OSes saw any growth in recent months; BlackBerry was down 1.9 percent to 5.8 percent (BlackBerry 10 handsets are set to be released in the next few weeks), Microsoft dropped 0.1 percent to 3.1 percent, and Symbian continued to disappear, also dropping 0.1 percent to 0.5 percent of smartphones.

In a blog post, meanwhile, comScore addressed how app developers could take advantage of the Android and iOS platforms. ComScore found that iOS users are much more engaged with app content, but the Android platform can draw in more users.

“This of course poses an interesting dilemma for developers who must consider whether audience size or engagement is the more important determinant of success for their apps,” comScore mused. “Do they need to have a higher number of users, or do they want the type of users who engage more frequently? A lot will depend on how they intend to monetize the apps.”

Those on iOS are much more likely to purchase items on their phones than their Android counterparts. About 23 percent of iPhone owners have purchased something on their phone, while 17 percent of Android users have done the same.

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