ComScore: Apple tops 40% smartphone share ahead of expected iPhone launch


Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS mobile operating system surpassed 40 percent U.S. smartphone market share in July 2013, narrowing the gap on Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) top-selling Android, digital research firm comScore reports.

iOS now represents 40.4 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, increasing 1.2 percentage points over April, comScore said. Consumer demand for iOS is peaking ahead of its retooled iOS 7, expected for official release this week: Apple is holding a media event Tuesday where onlookers say the company also will unveil the new iPhone 5S as well as the low-cost iPhone 5C, which should further increase its foothold in the U.S. market in the months to come.

Android fell from 52 percent U.S. market share in April to 51.8 percent in July, comScore notes. Those numbers are interesting because Samsung recently began selling its new Galaxy S4 Android smartphone, the flagship smartphone from the world's largest smartphone vendor. HTC too recently released its One Android smartphone, which is that company's flagship smartphone device. Both the S4 and the One are for sale from the top Tier 1 wireless operators in the United States.

Also during the April to July time frame, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) continued to slide from 5.1 percent to 4.3 percent; the embattled manufacturer recently said its board of directors has formed a special committee to explore its strategic alternatives, including a possible sale. Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone held steady at 3 percent.

More than 143.3 million U.S. subscribers owned smartphones at the close of the three-month period ending in July, up 3 percent since April and corresponding to 60 percent mobile market penetration.

Google Sites ranked as the top Web property on smartphones in July, reaching 92.6 percent of the mobile media audience (both mobile browsing and application usage), comScore said. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) followed at 86.3 percent, ahead of Yahoo Sites at 81.7 percent and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Sites at 66.8 percent. Facebook ranked as the top smartphone app, reaching 76.1 percent of the app audience, trailed by five Google-owned apps: YouTube (53.7 percent), Google Play (53.6 percent), Google Search (53.5 percent), Google Maps (46.2 percent) and Gmail (45.0 percent).

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