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  (Source: DVICE)

Google's Android is rising fast in smart phone OS marketshare.  (Source: Flickr)
Google's Android continues to gain momentum while Apple and RIM hold steady

Market research ComScore just released its latest set of numbers on U.S. mobile phone usage and the results are intriguing.  They indicate that the Windows Phone 7 Series can't come fast enough, with Microsoft continuing to shed loads of market share, dropping since October 2009 from 19.7 percent to 15.7 percent.  Likewise, Palm appears to be in trouble, dipping from 7.8 percent to 5.7 percent.  

Apple and RIM managed to hold steady with small gains -- 0.3 percent for Apple and 1.7 percent for RIM.  However, the big winner was clearly Google's Android OS, which sailed up to 7.1 percent from a mere 2.8 percent in October '09.

The study covered the 234 million Americans ages 13 and older who are mobile subscribers.  According to the study, between November and January 42.7 million of these users had a smart phone, up 18 percent from the August through October period.

The survey show that mobile browsing, apps, and mobile social networking are all slowly on the rise.  Interestingly, mobile gaming only crept up 0.4 percent since last October, despite the iPhone's dominance in the mobile gaming market.

The study also found Motorola to be America's top handset maker, with LG in a close second.

The mobile market is sure to shift more by the end of the year, but its hard to see what direction it will shift in.  Apple is currently trying to kill Google's smartphone momentum by suing its handset makers for allegedly infringing on its mobile intellectual property.  By the end of the year we may get some hints as to how that will play out.

Meanwhile Microsoft prepares to release its Windows Phone 7 Series, which look very promising, and Apple gears up for its latest summer iPhone launch.  Ultimately, how those two platforms stack up hardware wise may determine who goes head to head with Google in terms of smart phone dominance.

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RE: This is all good news for the consumer
By rtrski on 3/12/2010 3:55:36 PM , Rating: 2
If you factor in the 18% increase in the total smartphone users in the field, the Palm share loss is just over 1% in actual user-base, and another article more correctly pointed out (typical lack of DailyTech journalistic skill) that the survey says "Palm", not "webOS", so some of that decline could even be old Treo's being retired.

But the point remains that Palm isn't growing market share (if that 1% is entirely Treos being retired, the users didn't exactly opt for a new Palm device, else they'd have had at least 6.6% in the survey), which is indeed sad as the new OS is quite nice, and still growing with the PDK, Epic engine port, etc. (Disclosure: I do own a Pre on Sprint and am quite happy with it...and it is my first 'smartphone'.) But they have had some hardware quality issues: I'm still on my first Pre, but my wife's managed to churn through four in around eight months. <eyeroll>

I'm hoping they stay around because I like what they're doing, but let's face it, unless you're one of the Apple Annointed, a phone, even a smartphone and associated OS and apps, is really just a 2 year commitment, not a religious affiliation. When I'm up for renewal in Summer 2011 if Palm doesn't have anything interesting (and for that matter, if Sprint doesn't have hardware and services that still thrill me by comparison to another carrier in general), I could see myself going elsewhere for my mobile needs just fine. The few bucks I've paid for the occasional app aren't any incentive to stick around.

Have been intrigued by Android, but Google's propensity for everything being a 'beta' forever, and the general disjointed fragmentation of versions they're spinning thru right now on different hardware and carriers, kind of turns me off until it stabilizes. It'll also be interesting to see what comes out of Win 7 platform....

By Targon on 3/12/2010 4:11:44 PM , Rating: 2
Sprint isn't the most popular, Verizon isn't really pushing it, and AT&T doesn't have the Pre. This is why Palm is losing market share. I am still using my Treo 680 because I hate the feel of Blackberry devices, and I HATE touch screen based keyboards due to constantly needing to correct mistakes. At least with a real keyboard, you can FEEL the keys and errors will be less.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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