Latest numbers from comScore reveal a slight decline in Android's market share in the U.S.

Latest numbers from comScore reveal a slight decline in Android's market share in the U.S.
It's that time again. Research firm comScore has released its latest numbers and they show that for the three months ended in December, Android's average share of the U.S. smartphone market was 51.5%. That was a minor decline of .3 percentage points from the 51.8% seen as the platform's average share for the three months ended in September. Apple's iOS had a healthy jump of 1.2 percentage points from the 40.6% average share it had in the states for the three months ended in September. Apple's mobile operating system controlled 41.8% of the U.S. smartphone market for the three month period that ended in December.

Things drop off sharply after the duopoly. Surprisingly hanging tough in third place in the states was beleaguered BlackBerry. That adjective has been used so often to describe the Canadian company, that many think it is part of the corporate name. Nonetheless, BlackBerry finished the December quarter averaging a 3.4% market share, off .4 percentage points from the 3.8% share that it had in the quarter ended in September. Considering that some researchers had the manufacturer sporting a 0% market share in Q4, this is quite a contradictory and interesting figure. It also makes you wonder about the strong momentum showed by Windows Phone in the U.S. on other surveys. According to comScore, Microsoft's mobile OS had a 3.1% slice of the U.S. smartphone pie in Q4, down sequentially from the prior quarter's average of 3.3%.

As for smartphone manufacturers in the states, Apple and Samsung each tacked on 1.2 percentage points to their respective third quarter numbers. That gave Apple 41.8% of the stateside smartphone market in the final three months of 2013. Samsung's identical gain brought it to 26.1%. Former Google subsidiary Motorola was third with 6.7% of the market, an insignificant .1 percentage point drop from the third quarter. LG was flat for the period at a 6.6% share and HTC slumped 1.4 percentage points in the period to close the year with 5.7% of the U.S. smartphone market.

Combining the use of the browser on a smartphone, and mobile apps, Google had the hottest web properties on smartphones, which reached 88.3% of the mobile market. Taking websites out of the equation and concentrating on apps, Facebook was on top. The social network reached slightly more than 77% of the mobile app market with its apps.

During the three months ended in December, 156 million people in the U.S. owned a smartphone, which was a 65.2% penetration of the mobile market. For smartphones, the latter figure is up 3.2 percentage points from the prior three month period.

source: comScore via AndroidCentral



1. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

I'm sure it'll go back up with next quarterly results.... Everyone saw a slight decline I sales... It's just WP, and iOS, nibbling on Androids heals.. No immediate threat... ................. But, Google, and it's partners need to watch it..

2. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

no, there is no threat from closed OSes...

4. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Let's remember that Google isn't primarily holding the most market share because of being open.. That's just one piece of the puzzle... It's about cost of the license, availability, timing, and device price point more than anything.. Any OS, closed or not, at the time would have had the same outcome.. Quit priding Android on being open.. It really is a bad argument... Seriously, if iPhones sold at the price that the average Android handset cost on contract, probably around $99 they would most likely hold the largest amount of market share.. That's Google's real fear.. Everything changes, and nobody stays on top forever.. Don't be that guy who's naive to that.

5. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

And, this is US market share were talking about.. A closed OS is already giving Android a run for its money...

8. thealphageek1

Posts: 942; Member since: Feb 02, 2013

100% agree. So many Android fans think that simply because Android is open source(even though Google seems to be working to make it more closed now)that it is king. That is incorrect. Pricing plays a HUGE part in this: 1) The price of licensing Android(free), thus many OEM's flock to it, and 2) The price point that many of these Android Handsets have. This chart also shows that even if you are an OEM using Android, only Samsung is making any real money became of it. This adds proof that just because you go Android, doesn't mean that you will be profitable because of it. And lastly, that closed OS/smartphone maker known as Apple is on top in the US, proving that open source doesn't mean it's the best.

9. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Being so "open" doesn't always work out so well in the end.. We'll see.. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm right, who knows..

14. domfonusr

Posts: 1094; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

The problem for Android is that while they do well with first-time smartphone buyers everywhere, and hence kill it in sales figures, they don't do nearly as well with existing smartphone owners on upgrade buys in the US. Android loses a lot of their US ownership share to Apple's iOS in subsequent upgrade cycles... as many as 40% per upgrade cycle. Apple's loyalty rate is still over 80%, meaning they don't lose nearly as many of their new customers to OS churn over the same upgrade cycles.

22. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

You have any link showing 40% of US Android users leave for a different OS after their first phone?

24. domfonusr

Posts: 1094; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Yep: now, that set of data was close to the original set that I used to proceed with a Markov chain analysis, but it has clearly changed over time. While the change has been appreciable, it has not reversed the tables in any sense. In fact, here is one that also did a Markov chain study, and while their results are a bit less extreme than mine, they are close enough to make my point: This is data from the Yankee group just three years after their initial data that formed the basis of my approach. Their iPhone loyalty rate has actually gone up from the 87% figure that I once used, to 91%. Now, if you don't believe that iPhone owners are really that loyal, that is alright because I have one more survey result set to throw at you: and their results put the iPhone loyalty rate at only 78%. Perhaps the truth is somewhere in the middle. However, in all three cases, the iPhone clearly has a more loyal following, and this has the effect of skewing upgrade-on-upgrade shifts from Android to iOS regardless of initial sales results. Now, the Markov chain produced in the second link is a very good illustration of what happens when loyalty differences take their toll on the OS with lesser loyalty, upgrade-on-upgrade. This is where Android needs to fight a real battle - for the loyalty of its users.

25. domfonusr

Posts: 1094; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

In fact, this is exactly why it is in the best interests of many mobile OEM's and OS-makers to emulate Apple and iOS... because Apple knows how to make loyalty like they were born for it. Google is slowly closing parts of a once-more-open mobile OS because that is the only way to control their OS enough to bring loyalty back to their platform, as such freedom and openness of the OS tends not to breed loyalty among their users in the US, but rather diverges from it by breeding fragmentation and forking. And that is too bad, because I like freedom.

26. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

The first link is over two years old, no point in bothering with that, especially when information within the article contradicts itself. "The consensus at GfK paints a slightly different picture, however, as the firm suggests that loyal customers are difficult to sway. ”The scope for brands to lure customers from rivals has diminished and the richest rewards will go to those providers that can create the most harmonious user experience and develop this brand loyalty,” the firm said in its report." Exactly what Google has done in the past two years. Second link says only 24% plan to switch, and it's a newer article. It's also a survey from US owners, so I'm not ready to say that many Android users world wide will switch. I do believe it's totally possible that iOS will surpass Android in the US, it's their main market. Japan is their other dominant region, not so much beyond those two though. Last link is somewhere in the middle. What I'd really like to see is a survey of people that switched, only to come back and a survey of people who use more than 1 OS. That's when real pictures get painted. Last year I came to a conclusion after reading all the lawsuit articles and market share articles, Android and Apple aren't going anywhere. Percentage changes and lawsuits are going to happen but I highly doubt that anytime soon I'm not going to be able to buy an Android phone, which is my go to OS. As for new OS' and who's on top, I really don't care as long as it doesn't impact what I want to buy. The second and third link is interesting, but I don't see any doom for Android in either of them. Only complacency (Like BB had) can kill Android, and Google isn't going to let that happen.

34. domfonusr

Posts: 1094; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Understood. I included the first link only to showcase the fact that this kind of information existed in 2010 and 2011, when I did my first analysis. I do understand that it is now 3 years old. I have only been dealing with US market share, so never at any time have a tried to justify an iOS takeover worldwide. I fully understand that elsewhere Android is in control. Well, the matrix formulation of the Markov chain automatically takes the behavior you speak of into account, because owners who switch to iOS and then go back to Android are a second-order feature built into the linear algebra. I would explain further, but most people don't like it when a math geek tries to teach math in a non-math setting. I fully understand that an iOS win in the US will not be permanent, and will not stop Android phones from being sold. I never said this was the doom of Android, nor could it ever be, as my predictions are constrained to the US.

35. Cicero

Posts: 1148; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

The US users are not asking for a powerfull system, where you need to know how to tweak things, so they are satisfied with iOS. Enjoy! Freedom of choosing!

10. domfonusr

Posts: 1094; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

I'm still saying that iOS will eventually pass 50%, and hence pass Android, in the US in the next year. Among users in the US, Android has proven to be more of a gateway product line to Apple's products over a wide segment of the user base. As we go from 65% saturation upward toward 85%, this behavior will become more apparent as those who adopted smartphones earlier (from 2008 to 2012) will, in the majority, turn to the iPhone.

12. wilsong17 unregistered

lol right leave to high school kid and granpa to get iphone then get bored and called it whack at least where i live most people are calling iphone whack already same phone every year beside when you got to a cellphone retail the fist thing you get offer isa a iphone so the seller get commission

19. domfonusr

Posts: 1094; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Well, I certainly can't speak for where you live. Where I live it is the absolute opposite... it is rare to know someone who went Android rather than iOS where I am. Thus, I deal in averages. I look at ComScore's data on US ownership share. I look at Gartner's data on US sales marketshare. I look at Canalys' data on US customer loyalty at upgrade time. You get the picture. I can put all of that data together in a format that helps me to see what is happening in the overall picture (I was trained as a physicist at Penn State, so predictive math and quantitative analysis are some of my strengths) thanks to some very convenient linear algebra. Thus, I can see some interesting predictive trends that are very telling, and turn out to be true more often than not. Even if you don't believe me on that, there is always the fact of where the money really goes. There is also data floating around all about that, and that data clearly shows Apple taking the biggest piece of that pie. When it comes to that, I just say "follow the money!"

31. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Lol this is literally all other organizations are saying Android gained so you are going to just go on this one because it feeds your purpose. They have been both locked around these amounts since Android surpassed Apple a while ago. Also, Apple gained nothing this quarter even though they heavily discounted their iPhones in the release quarter for the first time in its history. So Yea might want to head back to school and actually pay attention this time.

38. domfonusr

Posts: 1094; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Fair enough. If my plans go right, and the county OVR board approves, I may get the chance to go back to college and finish what I started... in physics. However, your suggestion that I don't know math is ridiculous. I have taken everything through partial differential equations and classical dynamics, so I am doing very well at it thus far. As for linear algebra, my technique is flawless. The data, however, may not be flawless... but my knowledge of the technique is complete.

18. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Sounds accurate.

27. alrightihatepickingusernames

Posts: 474; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

I think this will take a LONG time to happen at this rate but yeah, unless Apple has a series of major screw ups in the US their market share will only go up here for a while.

33. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I doubt it. We've been hearing the same prediction for some time now, and year over year Android advances. This was a launch quarter for Apple in which no major Android flagship was deployed, and they still only managed to depress Android share by 0.3% (which is probably within the margin of error of the survey). In fact, as Android has improved vastly since Froyo, I see it's share improving as loyalty will improve.

15. KingaSpades

Posts: 45; Member since: Nov 04, 2013

Being open has nothing at all to do with it. It's because Google new that it was built with tons of Stolen IP so the smart thing to do was to give it away and let "partners" like Samsung and LG get sued instead. It's not because they love you. Plus the vast majority of the Android phones sold are free or cost almost nothing.

23. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

Cool story, bro.

29. tedkord

Posts: 17463; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Keep repeating that and maybe some day you'll believe it. Meanwhile, Apple is being sued for stealing IP in their A7. CPU,'s all the same.

3. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

iOS definitely. WP was down as well.

7. domfonusr

Posts: 1094; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Yep, I wouldn't call that WP "nibbling" at anyone's heels. iOS, on the other hand, is the dangerous one to be watching.

11. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

No, WP is nibbling at the others heals..

21. domfonusr

Posts: 1094; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

They didn't nibble a whole lot... that reminds me of a joke about a fly in someone's soup...

36. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

Lol! What?..

39. domfonusr

Posts: 1094; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

You know... the one where the restaraunt customer says, "Waiter, there's a fly in my soup!" The waiter kindly replies, "Don't worry, sir, it won't eat much."

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.