ComScore: Android dominates market, Verizon iPhone 4 boosts Apple

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Google’s Android operating system leads the US smartphone market by a significant margin, according to a new study by comScore. Apple also saw a boost in customers, with the Verizon Wireless version of its iPhone 4 outselling all other smartphones in the month of February.

Last November, handsets loaded with Android came in with the second largest share of the smartphone market, with 26 percent, according to comScore’s count. That ranked Android just behind Research In Motion’s BlackBerry devices, which had 33.5 percent as of November. As of February, however, Android has rocketed to the market’s top spot, with 33 percent market share — a 7 percent jump from November, and the largest fluctuation, up or down, of any smartphone platform.

RIM dropped 4.6 points, to 28.9 percent, landing the BlackBerry maker in the number two spot. Apple saw its market share rise slightly, to 25.2 percent, up from 25 percent. In both November and February, Apple came in third. Despite the release of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft dropped from 9 percent to 7.7 percent. And HP’s Palm fell from 3.9 to 2.8 percent.

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Samsung took the top manufacturer spot, with 24.8 percent market share, a 0.3 point drop from November. While #2 producer LG maintained an even 20.9 percent, Motorola dropped 0.9 percent to 16.1 and RIM fell slightly from 8.8 to 8.6 percent.

Apple, on the other hand, jumped 0.9 percent, from 6.6 to 7.5, mostly due to sales of the Verizon iPhone 4, which were higher than sales of any other single device on the market.

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The report, for which comScore surveyed more than 30,000 mobile phone users in the US, also covered what type of activities people are doing on their cell phones. All categories maintained their positions from November, but also increased slightly in terms of percentage of users who engage in each activity.

Texting ranked as the most common mobile phone use, followed by web browsing. App usage jumped 2.2 percent, and social networking on mobile devices increased 3.3 percent. A total of 24.6 percent of mobile users play games on their phones, and 17.5 percent listen to music.

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