Latest smartphone stats: Apple gaining ground on Samsung

Samsung's still number one in U.S. market share, but according to ComScore, number-three Apple narrowed the gap in August.

While Samsung remains at the top of the U.S. smartphone market-share rankings, Apple is rapidly catching up to its staunch rival, the latest ComScore figures show.

The figures for the August 2012 report, collected from more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers, show that Samsung's share remains flat, compared with a significant growth for Apple. Interestingly, the figures close before the iPhone 5 was released -- let alone announced -- showing an increase in iPhone uptake ahead of the expected next-generation Apple smartphone.

Apple's smartphone share grew 2.1 percent -- the highest increase in mobile subscribers seen since April -- edging closer to second-place smartphone maker LG, which dropped by nearly 1 percent in the three-month average period ending in August.

In the race for the top two podium spaces, it's clear that by ComScore's next monthly report, Apple could rise to second place, ready and braced to take on the rival Android maker at the top of the rankings.

ComScore

Though HTC grew by 0.2 percent in the August report, the Taiwanese company continues to struggle with poor smartphone sales and sinking revenue. During its second-quarter earnings report in July, HTC fessed up to a 57 percent decline in net profit year-over-year.

Meanwhile, Google-owned Motorola Mobility dipped by 0.8 percent, currently standing at 11.2 percent of the U.S. smartphone market share.

On platform market share, only Apple and Google managed to secure an increase in subscribers, while the other platform makers saw a decline.

The Android operating system increased marginally by 1.7 percent to 52.6 percent in total. Google, which develops the mobile operating system, said last month that there are more than 1.3 million Android activations per day , an increase from 1 million per day in June. In total, this represents more than a half-billion Android devices activated in total since the mobile software was first launched.

Apple, however, stormed ahead with its iOS software with an increase of 2.4 percent to 34.3 percent.

ComScore

On the other hand, BlackBerry maker Research In Motion saw the greatest loss with 3.1 percent in the platform space. The ailing smartphone maker has seen consistent losses through the year but has now dropped below the 10 percent mark to single figures in share.

Microsoft's Windows Phone and Nokia's Symbian operating systems declined by 0.4 percent each, representing bittersweet news for the Finnish phone maker.

Symbian's decline comes as a blessing for Nokia as it continues to plug the Windows Phone platform through its "special relationship" with Microsoft. But for Microsoft, the ComScore numbers represent a continued headache as the software giant seeks to drum up support for its mobile platform -- only weeks away from an expected Windows Phone 8 launch -- but falls below the radar while the major players in the platform race remain more than visible.

This story originally appeared at ZDNet's Between the Lines under the headline "Samsung retains U.S. smartphone crown, Apple rapidly catching up."

 

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