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
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.