Report says Apple gained U.S. smartphone market share

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According to market analysis firm ComScore, Apple's share of the U.S. smartphone market grew by a full percentage point in December of 2009.

The company's report indicates that Motorola still controls a leading position in the overall mobile market, while Blackberry maker RIM actually commands the smartphone market with over 41 percent of the installed base.

RIM's slice of the smartphone pie, however, has shrunk by one percent in the three months between September and December of 2009. Meanwhile, Apple's market share has grown by the same amount, confirming Cupertino's second spot on that list with over 25 percent of the market. Palm is the biggest loser among all handset makers, with a decrease of over 2 percent over the previous reporting period; its share seems to have all gone to Google, which gained almost three percent from last September.

You may recall that Macworld reported earlier this month on another analysis report, issued by ABI Research, which actually claimed that the iPhone had lost market share based on the number of units sold. ComScore's numbers seem to confirm the suspicion that ABI's report reflects shifts in sales due to an overall growth in the demand for smartphones, rather than a decrease of interest in Apple's products.

The ComScore paper also indicates that the overall U.S. mobile market continues to grow. According to the report, 63 percent of all subscribers now use texting (up two percent) and 18 percent use downloaded apps—an increase of one percent. Unfortunately, the company did not provide a breakdown of usage by brand, which would have shed additional light on the usage patterns of smartphone subscribers compared to traditional handset owners.

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