US Smartphone Market: Apple & Google Grow, Others Don’t

On February 8, comScore released reported on smartphone trends in the US. In Q4’09, Apple and Google grew in market share while RIM, Microsoft and Palm didn’t. Apple increased its market share from 24.1% to 25.3%, while Google more than doubled from 2.5% to 5.2%. The top smartphone platform in the US is still RIM holding 41.6% share in Q4’09, down from 42.6% a quarter earlier.

jkOnTheRun‘s Kevin C. Tofel took comScore’s information and made a couple of easy-to-read charts. I like the first one, though it would have been more consistent to switch Palm and Microsoft. The second chart titled “Smartphone Subscriber Growth by Platform” shows Q/Q growth and Tofel points to Google’s impressive “momentum of growth”. Well, momentum it is not since it is just a snapshot. You would need a series of quarterly growth rates to get at momentum. Also recognize that growing from a small number is much easier to accomplish. For instance, it would be almost impossible for Apple to double its market share given its already large share even if a ridiculously amazing update to the iPhone is unveiled in June. I’m not trying to diminish the growth of Android but just to put these numbers in perspective.

Chart 1. Q4’09 US Smartphone Platform Q/Q Growth

There was something missing. When you total all five smartphone platforms it isn’t 100%. So I put an “Other” category and made a new chart. “Other” posted an impressive Q/Q growth of 8.6%. This shouldn’t be too surprising since comScore also reported on the top mobile OEMs in the US. In Q4’09 the top five, in order, were: Motorola, LG, Samsung, Nokia, RIM. My guess would be Nokia (S60 and Maemo platforms) makes up a significant portion of “Other”.