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Apple's smartphone share rises, but Android still on top

Google's Android remained the dominant platform in the U.S. last quarter, even as Apple gained ground in the market thanks to the iPhone 4S, according to ComScore.

Apple and Android both grabbed a bigger piece of the pie last quarter, but Google's mobile OS kept the top spot with almost half of all U.S. smartphone customers.

For the quarter, Android's market share rose to 47.3 percent, according to ComScore, up from 44.8 in the prior quarter. Apple also watched its share rise to 29.6 percent from 27.4 percent but remained in second place by a wide margin.

Apple enjoyed a huge gain in smartphone sales during the holiday quarter, selling a record 37 million handsets. But Android continued its onslaught fueled by the wide variety of phones from Samsung, LG, Motorola, and other manufacturers.

The rest of the smartphone pack didn't fare as well as the top two, according to ComScore.

RIM's market share dripped to 16 percent from almost 19 percent the prior quarter. The company has been facing a tough climate with a shrinking market share and recent shakeup in management. New CEO Thorsten Heins is now under the gun to try to turn things around for the BlackBerry maker.

Microsoft's Windows Phone lost almost a point in market share, giving it 4.7 percent, while Nokia's Symbian fell even further with a 1.4 percent share.

Microsoft and Nokia are hoping their partnership will kick off a mobile rebound for both companies. Nokia has recently been introducing its Windows Phone Lumia lineup to the world, with the 710, 800, and 900 already in the market or soon to debut.

Nokia's chairman, Jorma Ollila, said on Wednesday that he expects 2012 to be a rough year for the company as it transitions to Windows Phone, according to Reuters. But ultimately he sees the Nokia-Microsoft combo becoming one of top three smartphone platforms, joining Apple and Android.

Overall, almost 98 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones last quarter, accounting for 40 percent of all mobile phone users.


Looking at the smartphone makers, Samsung took first place with a 25 percent market share thanks to demand for its Galaxy phones. LG and Motorola were in the second and third spots, respectively.

Apple was stuck in fourth place with a 12.4 percent share even though it was the only manufacture to show gains for the final quarter. RIM was last among the top five with a 6.7 percent share.

Apple and Samsung have actually been dueling with each other this past year for the title of top global smartphone maker. A recent Strategy Analytics report found that Apple came out ahead in the last quarter of 2011, although Samsung won the overall victory for the year.