Samsung remains No. 1 handset maker, Apple closes in on LG

A ComScore study also shows Google's Android operating system remained the top smartphone OS, while Apple's iOS stayed at No. 2. RIM, Symbian, and Windows Phone all declined.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
Samsung, which makes the Galaxy S3, sold the most phones in the September quarter. Apple and its iPhone came in No. 3. CNET
Samsung and the Android operating system continued to dominate the U.S. mobile market in the third quarter, according to a study by ComScore, but Apple posted the biggest quarter-over-quarter gains.

ComScore, which surveyed more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers, found Samsung to be the top handset maker (both smartphones and non-smartphones) with 26 percent market share in the September period, up a bit from the June quarter's 25.6 percent.

Apple closed in on becoming the second-biggest handset maker, lagging LG by only 0.2 percentage points. LG's hold on the market slipped 1.1 percentage points to 17.7 percent while Apple's rose 2.1 percentage points to 17.5 percent.

Google's Android operating system, meanwhile, remained the top smartphone platform with 52.5 percent share, up nearly 1 percentage point from the second quarter. Apple came in No. 2 with 34.3 percent, up 1.9 percentage points.

RIM, Nokia's Symbian, and Microsoft's Windows Phone, meanwhile, all lost share.

The report echoes findings from other researchers, which have shown Apple and Samsung widening the gap with other rivals. The two companies control the bulk of the industry's profits, and their newest flagship devices -- the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 -- are helping them dominate and squeeze rivals like Motorola while low-cost handset makers like ZTE are applying pressure on the low end.

Here's a closer look at ComScore's results:

ComScore's mobile data for the September quarter ComScore
ComScore's smartphone OS data for the September quarter ComScore