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Comscore says Apple is number one in U.S. market share for a single manufacturer, though Android overall outnumbers it 1.5:1.  (Source: ComScore)

Apple's ranking is impressive, given that it's newest handset is over a year old.  (Source: Apple)
New study indicates Apple is the top single manufacturer, but there's a few disclaimers to consider

Internet data mining isn't the most accurate way to track smartphones, as it can be biased by usage patterns; that said it does give a decent rough estimate of market share.  Market research firm ComScore's latest internet traffic-based market share analysis delivers the controversial conclusion that Apple is the top single smart phone manufacturer in the United States.

Before proclaiming "Apple is #1!", it's important to point out that this is not a “by operating system” market share comparison.  If you combine the market shares of Motorola Solutions Inc. (MSI), Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO:005930), HTC Corp. (TPE:2498), and LG Electronics Inc. (SEO:066570) (11.4, 8.9, 11.8, and 4.8 percent, respectively) you get 36.9 percent, nearly 50 percent more than Apple's 26.6 percent.  Granted, those manufacturers also sell Windows Phone 7 handsets (Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)), but that market share is likely only a small percentage of that total.

It's also important to consider that Apple's worldwide sales are still lower than Samsung's and that it's being outsold nearly two-to-one by Android.  In other words, Apple is doing better in the U.S., where Android outsells it approximately 1.5:1, versus the world where Android outsells it approximately 2:1.

That said, Apple deserves plenty of credit for earning the top spot in this ranking -- especially since it only has two relatively old products, the iPhone 4 (12 months old) and iPhone 3GS (2 years old), on the market.

Other interesting observations are that despite all the doom and gloom surrounding Canadian smartphone maker Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM), it still is maintain a sporty 24.7 percent market share.  It's also telling that Microsoft's favorite hardware partner, Finland's Nokia (HEL:NOK1V), could only muster a meager 2.1 percent market share.

And then there's Hewlett-Packard, Comp. (HPQ), who like Nokia is struggling.  HP earned just a hair more market share -- 2.7 percent.  However, unless its plans to license its smartphone OS to third-party hardware makers comes through big time, it seems to be condemned to a role as a bit player.

Apple, along with Microsoft are suing Android's top handset makers to force them out of the top spot -- or out of the market altogether.  And Apple is also eagerly awaiting the launch of a new iPhone in September, which is expected to be a relatively minor refresh.

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RE: Curious
By cjohnson2136 on 7/12/2011 12:07:07 PM , Rating: 2
user-agent tags

Plus based only on that is misleading considering in Firefox you can change your user-agent to identify it as an iphone or android.

RE: Curious
By Taft12 on 7/12/2011 1:00:29 PM , Rating: 2
So that introduces maybe a 0.1% margin of error?

RE: Curious
By Fritzr on 7/12/2011 8:52:54 PM , Rating: 2
Depends on other factors. For example I often have my desktop Opera browser mask as Internet Exploder due to websites that refuse to display if you do not have a "supported" browser.

FireFox on smartphone users may have set "Identify as iOS" as their default setting and change it only when told that Apple devices are not allowed access. Each time this happens on a non-Apple device, the surveys lose 1 competitor and pick up an 'extra' iPhone ... it does not take much of this to skew the results.

In the desktop market, Internet Explorer gains thousands of users simply because there are people who set their FireFox or Opera browsers to tell the world that they are actually an Internet Explorer version. This is much easier than setting it each time a website decides to disallow access to non-Microsoft browsers.

Sites that ban Internet Explorer while permitting Opera or FireFox access are very rare, so the reverse situation does not come up very often.

As for your .1% number. What data do you base that estimate on? How reliable is the source of your data?

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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