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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: ignore the trolls
By spacemonkey211 on 7/12/2011 4:20:05 PM , Rating: 2
As much as I tend not to like Mick's articles for the same reasons as you...

This one seemed very reasonable. He put it into perspective instead of just touting that Apple is #1 without any qualifiers. The fact that he spells it out again and again in his articles is just a fact of journalism. Each article should be self contained so new readers can understand them. General background knowledge might be required, but that should be it.

Thank you so very much for contradicting yourself within your own comment. Of course, it would be giving you far too much credit to assume you actually realize this.

Ummm... I don't see how it is much of a contradiction. Apple was an innovator that made decisions that would amount to a good short term gain but overall would make it so it couldn't compete if a competitor could gain traction. I remember reviewers and commentators saying this ever since the original iPhone was released. Nothing new there. Android vs iOS was always being compared to Apple and Microsoft of the 80's... Apple was way ahead of MS technologically, but MS let you install and run on any hardware anyway you really wanted.

Now that Android is at parity with iOS feature wise, Android is growing astronomically where iOS is flat. By growth and flat, I am using the business terms in which growth is measured by market share growth. So if you have double the sales from last year but the market grew by a factor of 4... that is negative growth and is actually very poor performance.

The fact that Apple is saying that it is the best even though it's market share is shrinking and there are a number of "newer" phones on the market makes it seem like hype. Another poster commented that people don't look for specs on phones and they are right. People don't... What they look for is what is "new"... Android has a new "IT" phone every month or 2 to keep it fresh in the peoples minds where Apple only does 1 refresh a year. Apple is still saying we have a great iPhone4 when there have been 5-8 new Android phones.

I think that is what Mick was trying to get at.

RE: ignore the trolls
By Falcoxx on 7/12/2011 4:43:22 PM , Rating: 2
It just seems biased because all the qualifiers either favor Android or aren't the full story.

For instance.

Apple is the number one smartphone manufacturer, but Android outsells IOS 2 to 1. You know both Android and IOS run on Tablets and MP3 players right? This was excluded in the original study because it was just for phones, but when you extend it to everything that runs the OS, it just seems half assed or biased when you exclude those other devices.

I'm not positive about this, but I don't think Apple's market share has shrunk (for smartphones). It's peaked at the 20 to 30% range and basically stayed there. Android has grown incredible, but at the expense of mostly RIM, Win, and Palm?

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