Google Android Loses U.S. Subscriber Share to Apple's iPhone

Google's Android lost subscriber share in the U.S. in the three months ending in April, according to new data released by comScore. Apple's iPhone took that share, and it took share from BlackBerry and Microsoft's Windows Phone, too.

iPhone had 39.2 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers in the three months ending in April of 2013, up from 37.8 percent in the three months ending in January. That still left Google's Android as the top platform among subscribers with 52 percent of the market, down from 52.3 percent in the previous period.

Subscriber Share by Platform

Chart by The Mac Observer, data from comScore

Comparing device markets, Apple still had 39.2 percent, making the company the top hardware maker among active subscribers. Samsung is the number two hardware maker with 22 percent of subscribers, up from 21.4 percent in the three months ending in January. HTC, Motorola, and LG (numbers 3, 4, and 5, respectively) each lost share.

Subscriber Share by Vendor

Chart by The Mac Observer, data from comScore

As we always note when comScore releases its reports, don't mistake these numbers for market share. comScore measures active subscribers, not sales of new devices. Apple has a larger share of subscribers in the U.S. than it does in sales of new devices, in part because the company's devices tend to have a substantially longer lifespan.

This is especially true when compared to the cheap and heavily discounted low-end devices that make up a large chunk of the market.

Still, Apple has been making steady gains in its subscriber share during the last few years, according to comScore's reports. This is in keeping with Apple's best-in-class customer satisfaction ratings and consistent measures that iOS device owners do more with their iPhones than owners of competing devices.

That said, Google's Android and Samsung could both take subscriber share from Apple starting in May, when Samsung released the Galaxy S4. Coming as it did roughly a quarter before Apple releases the next iPhone, Samsung and Android could both see a boost in share at Apple's expense.