Apple captured the number two spot in U.S. market share of total mobile subscribers for the first time last quarter, according to a new report from Virginia-based research firm comScore. The survey of 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers revealed that Apple’s share grew 1.5 percent between July and October 2012, to reach 17.8 percent of all U.S. mobile phones (including non-smartphones or “feature phones”).
With its 1.5 percent increase, Apple surpassed Korean electronics company LG, which saw its market share shrink 0.8 percent to a total of 17.6 percent during the same three month period.
Samsung, which sells a wide variety of mobile phones running Android, Windows Phone, and its own “bada” operating system, held on to first place, growing 0.7 percent to reach over a quarter of the U.S. market, at 26.3 percent.
Rounding out the top five, Google-owned Motorola fell 0.2 percent to 11.0 percent of the overall market, while HTC, which has made a strong push to become the “signature” phone brand for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 platform, fell 0.4 percent to 6.0 percent.
Switching from phone OEMs to smartphone platforms, comScore’s numbers revealed the continuation of what is essentially a two-horse race. Google’s Android operating system gained an additional 1.4 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers between July and October to hold on to a widening first place position, with 53.6 percent.
Second-place Apple and its iOS platform also grew, albeit at a slower pace of 0.9 percent, to reach 34.3 percent of the U.S. smartphone market during the same three month period.
Struggling RIM, which still has yet to launch its next-generation BlackBerry 10 operating system, fell 1.7 percent to a new low of 7.8 percent. Microsoft, via a combination of its legacy Windows Mobile and current generation Windows Phone platforms fell 0.4 percent to 3.2 percent of the market, while Nokia’s Symbian OS fell 0.2 percent to a total of only 0.6 percent.
The data provided above from comScore is relatively unique in that it measures install base (i.e., what survey respondents are actually using at the time) compared to the more commonly reported sales figures, which measure, and can convey, a very different result. Illustratively, a recent market report from Kantar Worldpanel revealed that Apple outsold Android in the U.S. for the first time in years during the month of October, largely due to the excitement surrounding the iPhone 5, which launched in late September.
Teaser graphic made with help from Shutterstock.