Smartphone usage has grown by an astounding 60 percent in the last year in the U.S., but the latest figures from comScore (NSDQ: SCOR) show that it’s a market that currently appears to be consolidating in the middle, with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android the only two OS platforms to see gains in the last three months.
ComScore says that in the last three months to the end of December, the number of people using smartphones in the U.S. went up to 63.2 million people. But while RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) is still leading the market, with a 31.6 percent share, its share is falling. And so are the shares of the bottom two in the market, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) (8.4 percent) and Palm (NSDQ: PALM) (3.7 percent). In the last two months, Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), at 25 percent, grew significantly less than Android, which passed it for the first time in the overall rankings at 28.7 percent:
While Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is conspicuously absent from the smartphone rankings, the company does manage to crack into the overall mobile device rankings. ComScore said that in the period, 234 million Americans aged 13 and older used mobile devices. Within that, Nokia had a seven percent share, still a far leap from Samsung at 24.8 percent — and a far cry from the days when Nokia had a 35 percent share in the U.S. market. Samsung, in fact, was the only top-five OEM whose market share grew in the last three months.
The crazy rise in smartphone ownership is having an interesting affect on mobile content usage. While text messaging, at 68 percent, is still the most popular data service, being used by nearly twice as many people as the next-most popular service, it is not growing as much as some of the other services that are more smartphone friendly: web browsing (36.4 percent), app usage (34.4 percent) and social networking (24.7 percent).
That’s not to say that all services that appear smartphone friendly are all doing well. Listening to music (15.7 percent) only grew by 0.5 percent; and playing games was even less growth, seeing only the smallest trickle of growth of 0.1 percent to 23.2 percent.