Android outranks iPhone in latest ComScore data

Editor’s Note: This story is excerpted from Computerworld. For more Mac coverage, visit Computerworld’s Macintosh Knowledge Center.

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 jumped to 28.7 percent of the 63.2 million U.S. smartphone owners at the end of December last year, up from 21.4 percent 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 had 24.3 percent of U.S. subscribers at the end of September, rising to 25 percent by the end of December.

Subscribers to RIM’s Blackberries dropped from 37.3 percent down to 31.6 percent, 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, 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 percent of subscribers using Samsung devices at the end of December, up from 23.5 percent at the end of September. Samsung was followed by LG, Motorola, RIM and Nokia.

Nokia had more than 33 percent 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 percent in the U.S. at the end of December.

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