Apple Holds Lead as Top US Smartphone

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) held the U.S. market share lead among smartphone manufacturers in the three months ending in November. Its share was 41.8%.

Apple handily held off its major rival. Samsung’s share was a modest 29.8%, according to research firm comScore. However, this was still well ahead of any other manufacturer. LG held the third place with a share of 7.6%, follow by Nokia at 5.3% and HTC at 3.7%.

The Apple numbers show just how hard it will be to catch, particularly due to the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which were released on September 19. Apple has reported that sales of the smartphone have set several records.

Apple’s market share shows the threat its iOS poses to Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android, which has been wildly successful for several years. Although Android is the operating system for most smartphones, its U.S. market share is only modestly ahead of Apple’s. Android’s share was 42.6% for the November period, compared to iOS at 41.8%. New upgrades to iOS could help Apple further.

Other numbers on operating system market share point to an old pattern. Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) has a tiny market share among operating system providers. New management at the software company has been unable to change this. In the November period, Microsoft’s market share was only 2%. There is no single reason to believe its position will improve.

Every sign points to the ongoing success of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus going well into this year. That means operating system market share will not change much.

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comScore noted:

178 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (73.6 percent mobile market penetration) during the three months ending in November, up 2 percent since August.

Also:

Facebook ranked as the top smartphone app, reaching 69 percent of the app audience, followed by Google Play (52.1 percent), Google Search (51.8 percent) and YouTube (50.8 percent).