Android Steals U.S. Smartphone Market Share Lead from RIM

Another day, another report showing Androids growing dominance in the mobile market.

The Google operating system now has nearly one-third of U.S. smartphone market share, at 33 percent, according to stats compiled by comScore for the months of November 2010 through February 2011. Thats up a whopping seven points just since the comScores last survey in the fall. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion the previous leader comes in second, with almost 29 percent, and Apple is third at just over 25 percent. Microsoft is in fourth place, with nearly 8 percent share, but the companys new partnership with Nokia is expected to give its Windows Phone 7 platform a much-needed boost.

The biggest bulk of new Android smartphone owners used to be BlackBerry users as Android climbed seven points, RIM fell almost five. It’s pretty clear which one is on the way up and which one is in free-fall. Of course, comparing Android to Apple isn’t quite as apples-to-apples it’s one phone vs. dozens; nevertheless, the impact of Android can’t be underestimated at this point.

Despite a bevy of Android smartphone choices out there, the increasing number of reports that put Android at the top of the heap continues to be staggering when you consider its such a young operating system. Android has made its biggest gains in just the past year as smartphones like the Motorola Droid, the HTC EVO, and most recently, the HTC ThunderBolt, have captured the publics imagination. While many thought just a year or two ago that Apples iPhone was on the verge of dominating for a long time, the Android stepped in to not only provide competition for Apples darling, but to overtake both it and BlackBerry in market share.

The comScore report also lays out smartphone market share among manufacturers, putting Samsung at the top of the list, at just under 25 percent. LG, Motorola, RIM and Apple follow in second, third, fourth and fifth place, respectively.

When it comes to mobile content use, text messaging continues to be the overwhelming choice of U.S. mobile subscribers comScore says more than two-thirds use their phones to text. But as more smartphones are sold, Web browsing is becoming more common. More than 38 percent of those surveyed reported using their cell phone for Web surfing, up three points in just three months time. Downloading apps and social networking ranked third and fourth, respectively.

Overall, nearly 70 million Americans now own a smartphone, according to comScore; thats up 13 percent from November.

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