Smartphone usage in the US jumps by 60 percent: comScore

There are now 63.2 million mobile phone subscribers aged 13 and over in the US using smartphones, an increase of 60 percent versus a year ago, says market researcher comScore in a report on the key trends in the US mobile phone industry.

While the smartphone market is picking up momentum in the US, feature phones still rule.

Around 234 million Americans aged 13 and older used a mobile phone during the three-month average period ending in December 2010 said comScore in its February 7 report on the mobile subscriber market.

When it comes to handset makers, Americans are snapping up devices made by Samsung and LG. Samsung is the leading original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in the US with 24.8 percent of the market. LG follows behind with 20.9 percent.

Motorola has 16.7 percent of the market, RIM has 8.5 percent and Nokia just 7 percent.

The top smartphone platforms in the US in the three months ending December 2010 were RIM, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Palm.

"RIM led the ranking with 31.6 percent market share of smartphones, while Google Android maintained the #2 position with 28.7 percent, up 7.3 percentage points versus September. Apple accounted for 25.0 percent of smartphone subscribers (up 0.7 percentage points), followed by Microsoft with 8.4 percent and Palm with 3.7 percent," said comScore.

The figures show Android and iOS gaining traction in the US smartphone market, while the other platforms slipped slightly during the three-month period.

According to a January 31 report by market analyst Canalys, Google's Android mobile operating system is currently the world's leading smartphone platform.

Smartphones running Nokia, Apple, RIM and Microsoft's operating systems follow in second to fifth positions in the global smartphone market.

During the three-month period ending in December 2010, the most popular activity accessed via subscribers' primary mobile phones was text messaging said comScore.  

Sixty-eight percent of US mobile subscribers used the text messaging feature on their phone during the three-month period, up one percent from September 2010.

The number of consumers using their device to browse the web also increased, rising 1.3 percentage points to 36.4 percent.

Meanwhile, 34.4 percent of subscribers downloaded apps on their device, 24.7 percent accessed a social networking site or blog and 23.2 percent played games on their mobile phone.