US smartphone penetration passes 50%

In total, 119.3 million people in the US own smartphones as of the end of September, equating to 51% penetration

MATT LEWIS

Published: 5 November, 2012

Figures just out show that the US smartphone market has passed the 50% penetration threshold, with the majority of the country's mobile users in possession of an Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone or Symbian handset. In total, 119.3 million people in the US own smartphones as of the end of September, equating to 51% penetration. This is up 8% since June.

According to comScore, Android continues to dominate the smartphone market, with a 52.5% share, compared to 34.3% for Apple devices. These two smartphone platforms were the only to show an increase over the Q2/Q3 period - BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Symbian each lost market share, with RIM's platform exhibiting the largest loss, dropping from 10.7% in June to 8.4% in September.

The two Korean handset OEMs - Samsung and LG - top the manufacturer rankings, with Samsung holding 26% of the US smartphone market and LG with 17.7%. However, while Samsung's share remained more or less unchanged over the Q2/Q3 period, LG dropped 1.1 percentage points. Apple, the third largest OEM, showed the greatest quarterly jump in market share, increasing from 15.4% in June to 17.5% at the end of September. On this trajectory, Apple looks almost certain to take the US number 2 position by year-end.

Microsoft will take some solace from the fact that it's no longer haemorrhaging market share in its domestic market - Windows Phone's 3.6% share is more or less unchanged from the previous quarter. These September numbers will not include sales of Nokia's new WP Lumia handsets, which are not earmarked for their US debut until later this month. The impact these devices have on Microsoft's fate in the mobile market, will probably be revealed in comScore's Q4 findings.