U.S. Smartphone Penetration Up 60 Percent in Q4 2010

The number of smartphone users in the U.S. rose 60 percent in the three months ending December 2010 versus the same period in 2009, according to data from comScore.

The measurement firm estimates 63.2 million people in the U.S. owned a smartphone device during that time, compared with around 38.7 million in the final three months of 2009.

Meanwhile, the mobile operating system space is increasingly becoming a two horse race, with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android proving the only two platforms to achieve growth in Q4, on a quarter-over-quarter basis.

Market leader RIM experienced substantial declines in that period, losing market share of 5.7 percentage points, while Google enjoyed growth of 7.3 percentage points – overtaking Apple and placing its overall market share at almost 29 percent. Despite the launch of its Windows Phone 7 operating system in mid-October, Microsoft lost 1.5 percentage points of market share, while Palm also suffered a 0.5 percentage point loss.

If Android continues its growth in adoption at its current rate, it’s on track to become the dominant smartphone OS by the end of March, according to comScore’s figures.

Top U.S. Smartphone Platforms, 3 Month Average Ending December 2010 vs. 3 Month Average Ending September 2010
  Share of Smartphone Subscribers (%)
Platform September 2010 December 2010

Point Change (%)

RIM 37.3 31.6 -5.7
Google 21.4 28.7 7.3
Apple 24.3 25.0 0.7
Microsoft 9.9 8.4 -1.5
Palm 4.2 3.7 -0.5
Source: comScore MobiLens 2010

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