comScore: As Smartphone Usage Increases, Android Continues To Gain U.S. Market Share

ComScore just released its U.S. mobile subscriber numbers for the three-month average period ending September 2011. According to the report, 87.4 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in September, up 12 percent from the preceding three-month period.

Google’s Android OS was top smartphone platform with 44.8 percent market share, up 4.6 percentage points from the prior three-month period. Apple continued in the second position, growing 0.8 percentage points to account for 27.4 percent of the smartphone market. RIM ranked third with 18.9 percent share, down 4.6 percentage points from the preceding period, followed by Microsoft (5.6 percent) and Symbian (1.8 percent).

During the time period, 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices. Samsung ranked as the top manufacturer with 25.3 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers (steady from the previous time period), followed by LG with 20.6 percent share and Motorola with 13.8 percent share. Apple came in at number 4 with 10.2 percent share of mobile subscribers (up 1.3 percentage points), while RIM rounded out the top five with 7.1 percent share.

comScore says that more than 40 percent of mobile subscribers us browsers and applications in their daily use. Browsers were used by 42.9 percent of subscribers (up 2.8 percentage points), while downloaded applications were used by 42.5 percent (up 3 percentage points).

In September, 71.1 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 1.5 percentage points. Accessing social networking sites or blogs via mobile phones increased 2.4 percentage points to 31.5 percent of mobile subscribers. And mobile game-playing was up by 1.9 percentage points to take 28.8 percent of the mobile audience, while 20.9 percent listened to music on their phones (up 1.9 percentage points).

Since this study only went up to September, it should be interesting to see how the newly released iPhone 4S, and the addition of the Sprint network, helps boost Apple’s U.S. mobile subscribers.