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Android leaps beyond RIM to take top spot in U.S. market

Android continues its dominance in the smartphone industry, jumping ahead of OSes from Apple and RIM to become No. 1 in mobile OS market share.

For the first time, Android is the top mobile OS in the United States. ComScore

Android is the now most popular mobile platform for smartphones in the United States, says a study released yesterday. According to the ComScore survey, Google's OS powered nearly a third, or 31.2 percent, of all smartphones during the three-month period ending January 2011.

Gaining 7 percentage points from the previous quarter, Android now surpasses mobile operating systems from both RIM and Apple. RIM dropped more than 5 percentage points and now sits closely behind Android at 30.4 percent while Apple's share rose ever so slightly to 24.7 percent. Microsoft (8 percent) and Palm (3.2 percent) rounded out the top five, with both dipping from the previous three-month window. ComScore did not indicate whether the Microsoft handsets included in the survey were running Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7, or both.

Smartphone use as a whole rose 8 percent over the three-month period that ended in October 2010. Based on ComScore's findings, there are now more than 65 million such devices in the United States. Look for that number to continue to shoot skyward as smartphone prices continue to drop over the next few months.

ComScore also tracked the market share of device manufacturers in the quarter ending in January. Samsung maintained the top position for all cell phones with 24.9 percent of the U.S. market. That was a 0.7 percentage-point change from the previous three months.

LG followed with 20.8 percent and Motorola assumed the third spot with 16.5 percent. Motorola also saw the biggest market-share decline (1.2 percentage points) from October to January. Finishing out the top five were RIM (8.6 percent) and Apple (7 percent).