updated 07:00 pm EDT, Fri May 3, 2013
Android, BlackBerry losing share months after iPhone 5 debut
Though the combined sales of Android smartphones continues to best Apple as a platform, Google's mobile OS continued to lose marketshare in the US in the latest quarterly comScore survey, as Apple solidified its position as market leader despite the lack of any new iPhone model in since before the holidays. Apple's share of the US smartphone market is now 39 percent, up 2.7 percent since December. Though Samsung was able to increase its US share slightly, the other three major Android vendors all lost ground in the most recent quarter.
HTC dropped the most of any individual smartphone maker, losing 1.2 percent to hit nine percent marketshare. Motorola dropped a half-percent and LG rounded out the top five losing 0.3 percent. On an overall platform basis, Android dropped 1.4 percent to settle at 52 percent, with only Apple and Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 able to gain share. In addition to iOS's 2.7 percent gain, MS managed a 0.1 percent growth. BlackBerry continues to shed users, dropping 1.2 percent down to 5.2 percent of the overall US market, and Symbian lost a tenth of a percent to claim 0.5 percent marketshare.
The trend towards iOS and away from Android is largely limited to the North American market, but the US in particular continues to represent one of the largest and most active smartphone marketplaces in the world, with 58 percent of the entire US cell phone market now on smartphones. This is the third comScore report in a row where Apple and iOS gained share, mostly at the expense of BlackBerry but also due to smaller Android dealers.
Android as a platform still has a majority of US marketshare, but that lead has diminished significantly since the introduction of the iPhone 5. The comScore survey looked only at smartphones and did not consider the impact of tablets on either platform in the results. It is noteworthy that Apple's position as a vendor continues to improve even though the iPhone 5 is more than halfway through its sales cycle as the leading model from the Cupertino giant.
Rumors vary, but now seem to have settled on early summer as the most likely launch point for a revised "iPhone 5S," with a possible low-cost "prepaid market" iPhone model joining the lineup later in the year. The purported "plastic" lower-cost iPhone, mainly aimed at developing markets such as China, might also prove to be a strong seller with no-contract carriers such as Metro PCS and as a holiday gift item for kids, students and other lower-income demographics if it were released in the US later this year.