Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is still the largest smartphone OEM in America and its rivals may never be able to catch up as smartphone growth in the country begins to decline. Its nearest rival Samsung Electronics Co.Ltd. (KRX:005930) has built market share at a steady pace at the cost of other leading brands. The latest report from comScore (SCOR) Mobilens and Mobile matrix for the three months ending February 2014 shows that smartphone penetration in U.S. now stands at 68.2% with a total of 163.2 million owners, a 7% increase since November 2013.
Samsung Growing At Other Brands’ Expense
Apple currently rules the OEM market with 41.3% of smartphone subscribers. The company’s smartphone market share grew by only 0.1% for the three months ending February 2014 as compared to the last quarter which ended November 30, 2013. In contrast, during the same period Samsung has registered a growth of 1% in smartphone subscribers. The launch of the Galaxy S5 worldwide starting from April is bound to increase the market share of Samsung over the next few months. Its Korean rival LG Electronics Inc. (KRX:066570) has also grown by 0.3% thanks to strong sales of G2 in America. The success of the G2 was because of its high recommendation score among all premium smartphones, ranking higher than the iPhone 5s. With rumors of Apple planning to launch a 5.5 inch phablet device in June and acknowledgment of the company’s lack of growth in its iPhone segment, it will be interesting to see if Apple can keep up and work on growing its market share even further in the United States.
The biggest loser during this period is HTC Corp (TPE:2498) which saw its market share drop by 1%, it tumbled down to 5.4%, although the company hopes to sell its premium Android device, the HTC One M8 to recover from the losses in United States. Lenovo Group Limited (ADR) (OTCMKTS:LNVGY) owned Motorola is also going through a period of decline with their market share falling by 0.4%, despite the introduction of its low-cost handset Moto G.
Android Is Still The Dominant Mobile Platform But Windows Phone OS Growing Steadily
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) loss is proving to be a gain for other operating platforms. The market share of BlackBerry OS fell by 0.6% in the U.S for the three months ending February 2014, forcing other operating platforms to fill the void left behind. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has gained the most, by pushing its Windows Phone OS to gain 3.45% of the OS market share. The release of Windows Phone 8.1 OS for smartphones and upcoming releases of Windows Phones will make sure that Microsoft remains a long-term player in the OS department. Several new features including a voice assistant application and improved focus on services will give the Redmond based giant increased market share over the next few quarters.
Android dominates with 52.1% of the OS market, although its growth has been slightly effected by the rise of Windows Phone OS. Apple’s iOS is unable to grow as fast as the other operating systems due to saturation in the high-end US smartphone market. It currently holds 41.3% of the OS market which is just a 0.1% increase for the three months ending February 2014. Surprisingly, despite all this mayhem, Symbian OS still has 0.2% of the OS market and has not witnessed any decline.
Yahoo Displaces Facebook In Mobile Reach
The firm also tracked the top 15 mobile websites and apps for February 2014, declaring Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) as the top web property on smartphones. Google sites are reaching 89% of the mobile media audiences in the U.S and surprisingly Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) has dethroned Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) to grab the second position in mobile reach. The acquisition of the blogging website tumblr and the launch of several mobile services including Aviate launcher have ensured that Yahoo has a strong following in the United States. Yahoo sites now have 85.7% of the U.S mobile audience followed by Facebook at 85%. In the app segment, Facebook is the most popular app reaching 75.7% of smartphone users.