ComScore: Android surges to 21% of U.S. smartphone market

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Google's Android operating system continues to upend the U.S. smartphone segment, growing 6.5 percentage points during the third quarter to capture 21.4 percent of nationwide smartphone market share, according to new data issued by digital measurement firm comScore. Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry OS remains the overall U.S. leader at 37.3 percent, down from 40.1 percent in Q2--Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS is unchanged at 24.3 percent, while Microsoft's Windows Phone slipped 2.8 percentage points to 10.0 percent. Palm rounds out the top five at 4.2 percent, down 0.5 percentage points quarter-over-quarter. comScore adds that 58.7 million U.S. subscribers now own smartphones, up 15 percent from the second quarter.

The comScore report follows days after market research firm NPD Group said devices running Android operating system accounted for 44 percent of all smartphones sold in the U.S. during the third quarter. Android sales increased 11 percentage points over the second quarter, NPD adds--iOS held relatively steady, rising one percentage point quarter-over-quarter to 23 percent of U.S. smartphone sales, while BlackBerry plunged to 22 percent, down from 28 percent in Q2. NPD Group also notes that when OS unit share for Q3 2010 is compared to the third quarter of 2009, BlackBerry share plummeted by 53 percent, while iOS share declined 21 percent.

In all, 67.0 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers sent and received text messages during Q3 2010, up 1.4 percentage points quarter-over-quarter, comScore notes. While 35.1 percent of subscribers accessed their phone's browser (up 2.2 percentage points), 33.1 percent of users downloaded applications, up 2.5 percentage points. In addition, 23.2 percent of mobile subscribers accessed social networks or blogs (a 1.8 percentage point increase), 23.1 percent played games (up 0.5 percentage points) and 15.2 percent listened to music (up 0.8 percentage points).

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