comScore: Android Still On The Rise, RIM Loses Ground

The latest smartphone industry numbers from market researcher comScore paint a familiar picture as devices running the Android mobile operating system continue to gain market and mindshare at the expense, primarily, of Research In Motion's BlackBerry smartphones.

In the three months ending in September, comScore's report found that RIM (NASDAQ: RIMM) managed to cling to its lead among smartphone owners in the U.S. at 37.3 percent, but that was down 2.8 percent from the end of June while Android-based devices rose 6.5 percent to 21.4 percent of the overall market.

Consumer allegiance to Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhones remained exactly flat at 24.3 percent in the same period.

The data mirrors other recent market share data collected by various independent smartphone industry watchers, reflecting not only the growing preference among consumers for Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) open source mobile OS, but also the challenge RIM and other smartphone makers face at a time when the industry is experiencing unprecedented growth.

According to comScore (NASDAQ: SCOR), more than 58.7 million people in the U.S. owned a smartphone in the three-month period ending in September, a surge of 15 percent from the prior three-month period.

Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) mobile platform checked in fourth with 10 percent of the market, down 2.8 percent over this same period, while Palm rounded out the top five with 4.2 percent share, down 0.5 percent.

Among handset manufacturers, Samsung held sway as the top OEM at 23.5 percent, up 0.7 percent, followed by LG (21.2 percent) and Motorola (NYSE: MOT), which has enjoyed an Android-assisted resurgence, at 18.4 percent.

The report found that 67 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used their smartphones for text messaging, up 1.4 percent from the prior three-month span, but curiously browsers were used by only 35.1 percent of users, up a meager 2.2 percent.

Just over 33 percent of users downloaded apps from their devices, up 2.5 percent, and some 23.2 percent of smartphone users accessed social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, up 1.8 percent.

Larry Barrett is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


open source, Android, mobile, iPhone, RIM