Samsung, Motorola tops in U.S. mobile subscribers

The two handset makers were neck and neck for U.S. mobile market share for the first quarter of the year, trailed closely by LG, according to ComScore.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Motorola and Samsung both took home leading market shares of 21.9 percent among U.S. mobile subscribers for the first quarter of 2010, according to data released Thursday by ComScore, though Samsung won the tip-top spot by a fraction of a percent.

Ranking the top mobile handset makers among U.S. cellular subscribers age 13 and older, ComScore also found LG following closely in third place with a 21.8 percent slice of the market. Research In Motion and Nokia filled out the top five, both with shares of 8.3 percent. Among the five players, Samsung and RIM both gained subscribers over the previous quarter, while Motorola, LG, and Nokia all lost a bit of ground.


Unlike ComScore's data for the fourth quarter of 2009, the new stats don't distinguish between smartphone and traditional handset subscribers. But the new report did track market share among mobile operators.

For the first quarter, Verizon led the pack with a 31.1 percent share of all cellular customers. AT&T took second place with a 25.2 percent slice of the market. In third was Sprint with a 12 percent share, followed by T-Mobile with a fraction of a percent less. And in last place among the top five was Tracfone with 5.1 percent of the market.

How are mobile customers using their phones these days? During the quarter, 63.7 percent of them used text messaging on their devices. Among subscribers, 30.1 percent surfed the Web via a mobile browser, 28.6 percent downloaded apps, 21.8 percent played games, and 18.7 percent accessed social networking sites or blogs. Finally, 13.2 percent used their phones to listen to music.

All of these activities showed an increase in usage over the previous quarter. But Internet activities such as surfing the Web, downloading apps, and using social networks realized the biggest gains among mobile users.