ComScore: iOS market share surged prior to iPhone 5 release

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Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS narrowed the gap on Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) market-leading Android mobile operating system in the weeks prior to the launch of the much-anticipated iPhone 5, according to a new report issued by digital research firm comScore.

Click here to see the changes in smartphone OS market shares during the past three years.

iOS ended August 2012 representing 34.3 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, an increase of 2.4 percentage points over May, comScore reports. Apple grew its market share despite widespread expectation of a new and improved iPhone model: The computing giant launched the iPhone 5 in mid-September and sold more than 5 million smartphones in its first weekend of release.

Despite Apple's gains, Android continues to dominate the U.S. smartphone landscape, increasing its market share from 50.9 percent in May to 52.6 percent in August. Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry continues to fade from the consumer consciousness, sliding another 3.1 percent points between May and August to command just 8.3 percent of the market. Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone still trails far behind at 3.6 percent, down from 4 percent in May, and Symbian brings up the rear at 0.7 percent, compared to 1.1 percent three months earlier.

More than 116.5 million U.S. mobile subscribers now carry smartphones, up 6 percent since May, comScore reports. The firm notes that 75.6 percent of subscribers sent and received text messages in August, up 0.8 percentage points over April, and 53.4 percent accessed downloaded applications, an increase of 2.3 percentage points. In addition, 52 percent accessed their mobile browser, up 2.2 percentage points, and 38.3 percent accessed social networking sites or blogs, jumping 1.6 percent.

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