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Android widens smartphone market lead over iOS

Google's operating system has nearly 44 percent of the OS market, compared to 27 percent share for iOS.

Android has taken a more commanding lead over iOS in the U.S., research firm ComScore is reporting.

According to the company, Android secured 43.7 percent of the U.S. smartphone OS market during the three-month period ended August 2011, jumping 5.6 percentage points from the 38.1 percent market share it had at the end of May. Apple's iOS platform came in second place with 27.3 percent market share at the end of August, ComScore said. In the three-month period ended May, Apple's operating system secured 26.6 percent of the U.S. smartphone OS market.

RIM's BlackBerry OS came in third place in ComScore's findings with 19.7 percent market share. That figure is down 5 percentage points from its 24.7 percent share in May. Microsoft's operating systems, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7, nabbed 5.7 percent share, beating Symbian's 1.8 percent slice of the market.

The total number of people in the U.S. who owned smartphones in the U.S. during the three-month period ended August grew 10 percent from the prior three-month period to 84.5 million.

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Although most research firms can agree Android is leading the U.S. smartphone market, the extent of Android's dominance in that space is up for debate.

In August, NPD reported that Android was running on 52 percent of all the smartphones sold in the U.S. during the second quarter. The research firm said that iOS secured 29 percent market share in its study, followed by BlackBerry OS with 11 percent share. Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile, and WebOS came in with less than 5 percent each.

Aside from operating systems, ComScore also examined the most popular hardware makers during the three-month period ended August. According to the research firm, 25.3 percent of all mobile subscribers in the U.S. were running a Samsung device. LG devices were being used by 21 percent of all subscribers, followed by Motorola with 14 percent. Apple's handsets were in the hands of 9.8 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers during the three-month period ended August.

Although Apple was in fourth place, the company saw the strongest quarter-over-quarter growth of any company, jumping 1.1 percentage points. Samsung was the only other vendor to see growth during the period, jumping 0.5 percentage points.

One other interesting tidbit from ComScore's study: 70.5 percent of all mobile subscribers in the U.S. sent a text message during the three-month period ended August. The second-most-popular activity was surfing the Web, with 42.1 percent of folks starting up the browser on their devices. According to ComScore, 41.6 percent of subscribers used downloaded apps.