Fully 40% of all US mobile subscribers, or 97.9 million people, owned a smartphone during the three months ended December 2011, as Google Android expanded its dominance in the market and Apple gained ground among handset manufacturers, according to data from the comScore MobiLens service. 

Android accounted for 47.3% of smartphone subscribers in the three months ended December, up 2.5 percentage points (PPs) from the previous three-month period; Apple followed with 29.6% of  market share, up 2.2 PPs, while RIM continued to lose share with 16.0% of smartphone audiences, down 2.9 PPs from the previous three-month period.

Microsoft fell 0.9 PPs to 4.7% of smartphone market share, followed by Symbian with 1.8%, off 0.4 PPs from three months earlier.

Apple Gaining Ground Among Handset Manufacturers

Top handset-maker Samsung held on to its lead with 25.3% of OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) share as of December, while LG Electronics and Motorola (now an acquisition target of Google) both lost share, down 0.6 PPs and 0.5 PPs, respectively, over the preceding three-month period. Apple recorded the only gain in OEM market share, rising to 12.4% as of December, from 10.2% three months earlier.

Mobile Content Use

In December, mobile content use continued to grow across all types measured among US mobile subscribers: 

  • 74.3% used text messaging on their mobile device, up 3.2 PPs from the previous three-month period.
  • 35.3% accessed social media sites or blogs, up 3.8 PPs.
  • 47.5% accessed a browser, up 4.6 PPs. 

Downloaded applications were used by 47.6% of subscribers as of December (up 5.1 PPs from the previous three-month period), while game-playing was done by 31.4% of mobile audiences (up 2.6 PPs), and 23.8% listened to music on their phones (up 2.9 PPs).

About the data: comScore's MobiLens data are based on a survey of more than 30,000 US mobile age 13+. Data on mobile phone use refers to a respondent's primary mobile phone and does not include data related to a respondent’s secondary device.

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