ComScore: Android leaves everyone else in the dust (again)

Article copyright 2010 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

ComScore Smartphone Market

ComScore has just released its latest analysis of the U.S. smartphone market, and it's a familiar story: Android's making significant gains while everyone else is failing to keep up with its growth.

This new data looks at the three-month period ending in October. According to ComScore's measurements, Android grew by 38 percent during that time, compared to the previous three-month span. Its total share jumped from 17 percent up to 23.5.

Apple, in the same time, made some modest gains: Its smartphone market share increased from 23.8 percent to 24.6 percent. The other major platforms all suffered market share losses: RIM fell 3.5 points to 35.8 percent; Microsoft fell 2.1 points to 9.7 percent; and Palm fell 1 point to 3.9 percent of the total U.S. market.

ComScore Smartphone Report

There's really not much to say about the shift that hasn't been said before (see "Android vs. iPhone: Another round, another knockout" -- it pretty much sums it all up). Month after month, quarter after quarter, we see the same trend. 

And yes, I know: This analysis looks at total share of smartphones powered by each operating system; it doesn't factor in things like tablets, media players, and other mobile devices. That inevitably leads to a slew of people pointing out that Apple would be doing much better if we included every gadget that used its iOS software. That may be, but we're talking about smartphone platform market share here; including iPads, iPods and the likes wouldn't make sense within the confines of the comparison.

A few other standard disclaimers to address the unavoidable comments on any market share story:

  • Yes, there's only one iPhone, and there are numerous Android phones. As I've noted before, we're looking at one smartphone platform vs. another smartphone platform. If Apple sold 30 iPhone models, each one would undoubtedly have a lower individual sales number than the one-size-fits-all iPhone 4. Similarly, if Google came out with only a single Android phone, its sales would be far higher than any one phone in the platform's current multi-device ecosystem. That's how the cookie crumbles.

  • Yes, there are plenty of ways one can analyze the mobile market. Each method gives us perspective on a different element of the mobile market. Looking at one smartphone platform vs. another smartphone platform, as ComScore's data does, remains a valid and widely used metric for gauging overall penetration of smartphone platforms.

  • Android Power Twitter

    No, this data doesn't mean that Apple is failing; clearly, Apple is doing quite well financially. One company being ahead or behind of another doesn't indicate that it's earning lower profits (this just in: no one ever said that). It does, however, provide some very relevant perspective about each company's relative position in terms of overall adoption. 

Good times, right? Right. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...

JR Raphael writes about smartphones and other tasty technology. You can find him on Facebook, on Twitter, or at eSarcasm, his geek-humor getaway.

Article copyright 2010 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

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