Samsung Leads Smartphone Market

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The latest rankings are out from comScore Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) on the US smartphone device and platform markets. Samsung Electronics (OTC: SSNLF) leads the device makers with a 25.7% market share. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is in third place with 15%, behind second place vendor LG Electronics. Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), which now owns Motorola’s handset business, claimed 12% and HTC Corp. held 6.1%. The data covers the three-month period ending in May.

Apple gained 1.5% share in the three-month period and only Samsung, with a gain of 0.1%, also showed growth. LG lost -0.3% of its market share, Motorola lost -0.8%, and HTC lost -0.2%.

On the platform front, Google’s Android holds a 50.9% share, followed by Apple’s iOS with a 31.9% share, Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM) with an 11.4% share, and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) with a 4% share. RIM lost -2% share in the period, and Nokia Corp.’s (NYSE: NOK) Symbian lost another -0.4% to finish with a 1.1% share. The others increased share, with Apple gaining the most, 1.7%.

The most heavily used smartphone feature is text messaging, used by nearly 75% of mobile device owners. The other popular uses are downloading apps (51.1%), browsing (49.8%), and accessing a social network site (36.7%). Listening to music on a mobile phone was up 2.2%, the largest gain for the period, at 27%.

The data on listening to music is particularly interesting. Are people using the devices to stream tunes from Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) and Spotify or are they listening to their own library of purchased music such as iTunes? The answer to that question could mean a lot to a company like Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE), that just paid $2.2 billion for the publishing rights to another 1.3 million songs.

Paul Ausick