The year 2012 saw some significant launches in the smartphone industry. Apple released its highly anticipated iPhone 5, Nokia and HTC began churning out Windows Phone 8 devices, Samsung pushed out its flagship Galaxy S3 phone and two generations of Galaxy Note “phablets.” Toward the end of the year, LG partnered with Google to unleash the newest handset addition to the Nexus family: the Nexus 4.
While each of these devices may excel and fall flat in certain aspects, only one manufacturer can reign supreme. According to data from comScore MobilLens, Samsung ranked as the top handset manufacturer toward the end of 2012. The company surveyed more than 30,000 mobile subscribers during a three month period ending in November and found that Samsung accounted for 26.9 percent of the mobile market share. Apple came in second place with 18.5 percent, falling just about 8 percent below Samsung. LG placed in third at 17.5 percent followed by Motorola with 10.4 percent. HTC brought up the rear, accounting for just 5.9 percent of the mobile market.
To no surprise, Google’s Android mobile operating system took the majority share of the market when it comes smartphone and tablet software usage. The mobile OS accounted for 53.9 percent of the mobile market from August to November 2012, with Apple’s iOS operating system claiming 35 percent.
In addition to revealing which smartphone manufacturers and platform types are the most popular, the data also provides insight as to how and why people use their mobile devices. The results found that text messaging is the most popular task when it comes to using smartphones, with 75.9 percent of those surveyed reporting that they send text messages between handsets.
It’s no secret that text messaging is a primary form of communication among cell phone users, but this survey comes in the wake of another report that indicated SMS messaging could be declining. Statistics from independent mobile analyst Chetan Sharma said that text messaging had dropped by 2 percent in the third quarter of 2012; the same time period in which comScore conducted its survey. Two percent may not seem like a significant drop, but it does mark the first time texting has ever decreased in the United States.
Mobile devices have the capability to completely replace MP3 players, but listening to music was ranked as the least common activity among users. Only 28.7 percent of polled smartphone owners said that they use their device to listen to music. Besides sending text messages, using downloaded apps and Web browsers appear to be the most common smartphone tasks.