Android outranks iPhone in latest comScore data

Survey of U.S. subscribers shows Android second behind RIM

Google's Android outranked Apple's iPhone in total smartphone subscribers in the U.S. at the end of the fourth quarter of 2010, according to survey data released Monday by market research company comScore.

Android accounted for 28.7% of the 63.2 million U.S. smartphone owners at the end of December, up from 21.4% at the end of September, comScore said. It based its findings on a survey of more than 12,000 smartphone subscribers ages 13 and older.

Android's upward climb put it in second position behind BlackBerry maker Research In Motion at the end of December, pushing down Apple iPhone subscribers from second to third place by the end of the fourth quarter. The iPhone accounted for 24.3% of U.S. subscribers at the end of September, rising to 25% by the end of December.

Subscribers to RIM's BlackBerries dropped from 37.3% to 31.6%, comScore noted.

Android's ascendancy has been shown in other reports, including those from research firms Canalys and IDC.

Users of the Palm and Microsoft operating systems also declined over the last three months of 2010, despite the introduction of Windows Mobile Phone 7, comScore noted.

Similar to IDC's finding that Samsung led the worldwide smartphone market in shipments, comScore said Samsung led in the U.S., with 24.8% of subscribers using Samsung devices at the end of December, up from 23.5% at the end of September. Samsung was followed by LG, Motorola, RIM and Nokia.

Nokia had more than 33% of the global smartphone market at the end of 2010, retaining its top position worldwide, IDC said. However, comScore put Nokia's subscriber number at just 7% in the U.S. at the end of December.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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