Back-to-School Shopping Success — for Smartphones

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During the third calendar quarter this year 11% of mobile phone subscribers decided to replace or upgrade their phones. Of that number, nearly 80% chose a smartphone.

According to research from Nielsen, smartphone penetration in the U.S. rose from 62% in the second quarter to 64.7% in the third quarter and 70% of teenagers (13-17) and 79% of young adults (18-24) now own smartphones.

Measured by market share, the top manufacturer in the third quarter was Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) with a 41% share followed by Samsung Electronics with a 26.3% share, which includes 0.3% sales of Windows Phone. HTC Corp. was in third place with 8.5% and Motorola, owned by Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) was fourth with 8%.
On the operating system side of the equation, Android from Google posted market share of 52% followed by Apple with 41%, Blackberry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY) with 3%, and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) with 2%.

The following chart from Nielsen shows manufacturer market share by operating system:

Nielsen notes that with the U.S. market so well stocked with smartphones, the remaining non-adopters might need an extra push to replace their feature phones. Some clever marketing is likely to be needed to attract new buyers without alienating those who already have a smartphone.