For the first time, smartphone penetration crossed the 50% threshold, with 51.0% of US mobile subscribers (119.3 million people) owning a smartphone during the three months ended September, up 8% from the three months ended June 2012, according to data from the comScore MobiLens service.

Though Google's Android operating system retained a lead of 18 percentage points over Apple's iOS in the September 2012 period, Google's monthly share growth slowed while Apple's continued to gain momentum.

Android's share of the US smartphone market grew a modest 0.9 percentage point in September 2012, reaching 52.5%, while Apple's share increased 1.9 percentage points, to 34.3%. RIM ranked third with 8.4%, followed by Microsoft (3.6%) and Symbian (0.6%).

Mobile Content Usage

Not surprisingly, given the surge in smartphone penetration, mobile content consumption increased in September. The following activities recording the sharpest increases:

  • 54% of subscribers downloaded applications, up 2.6 points from the previous 3-month period.
  • 52.6% used browsers, up 2.4 percentage points.
  • 39% accessed social networking sites or blogs, up 2.1 points.

Three-fourths (75.5%) of US mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device in September, up 0.5 points from the previous three-month period.

OEM Market Share

Samsung was the top mobile OEM (original equipment manufacturer) with 26.0% market share in September, up 0.4 points from the previous three-month period, followed by LG with 17.7%.

Once again, Apple recorded the greatest handset share growth, up 2.1 points to 17.5%.

Motorola ranked No. 4 with 10.9% of the mobile OEM market in September, while HTC was No. 5 with 6.2% of OEM share.

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Smartphone Penetration Crosses 50% Threshold; Apple iOS Gains on Google Android

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