Apple's iPhone Takes 18.5% of US Mobile Market, Android Still #1

Apple’s iPhone was in use by 35 percent of all U.S. smartphone users and 18.5 percent of all U.S. mobile phone users as of November 2012, according to new data released Thursday by research firm comScore. Samsung and Android both took the top spot in OEM and platform rankings, respectively, with Apple holding firm to second place.

comScore’s report examined U.S. usage share for over 30,000 mobile subscribers during a three month period ending November 2012, and compared it to the firm’s last three month assessment, which ended August 2012. The time between the two assessments saw the release of the iPhone 5 and iOS 6.

November 2012 comScore Mobile Usage Share

Samsung, which primarily sells devices based on Android, held on to its number-one ranking, gaining 1.2 percent to reach 26.9 percent of the overall U.S. mobile market, which includes both smartphones and traditional “feature” phones. Apple grew its usage share even more, by 1.4 percent, to reach 18.5 percent.

The remaining OEMs in the top five all saw usage share shrink during the quarter, with LG, Google-owned Motorola, and HTC all losing about half of one percent.

Looking at smartphone platforms, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS continue to dominate the competition, together accounting for 88.7 percent of all smartphone usage. Android, currently the most widespread mobile operating system, saw its usage share rise 1.1 percent, to reach 53.7 percent of the market. Apple also grew, but at a slower pace of 0.7 percent, to reach 35.0 percent overall.

November 2012 comScore Usage Share Smartphone Platforms

As was the case with OEMs, the bottom three platforms all lost ground to the top two. RIM continued its fall, dropping to 7.3 percent as the market waits for the long-delayed BlackBerry 10, expected at the end of January. Microsoft's Windows Phone OS and Nokia’s Symbian also fell to 3.0 and 0.5 percent overall, respectively.

Unlike other metrics which generally examine sales figures, comScore surveys consumers for actual usage data, providing a different look at the market.