Android Now on Top in the U.S

There’s a changing of the guard atop the U.S. smartphone segment: Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android mobile operating system has now surpassed Research In Motion’s (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry in terms of nationwide market share, ending the RIM platform’s long run at the top. Digital research firm comScore reports that as of January 2011, Android now represents 31.2 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, a 7.7 percentage points increase since October 2010–during the same period, BlackBerry slipped 5.4 percentage points and now accounts for 30.4 percent of the country’s smartphones. Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS remained at a virtual standstill, increasing just 0.1 percentage point during the survey period to 24.7 percent, while Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone slipped another 1.7 percentage points to 8.0 percent. Palm’s webOS brings up the rear at 3.2 percent, down from 3.9 percent three months earlier.

More than 65.8 million U.S. subscribers own smartphones as of January 2011, up 8 percent over the previous three-month period, comScore states. Looking at the U.S. mobile subscriber population as a whole, 68.1 percent of consumers sent text messages during the opening weeks of 2011, consistent with October 2010–however, the number of subscribers accessing the mobile browser increased from 36.2 percent to 37.0 percent during that time. In addition, 35.3 percent used downloaded apps (up 1.6 percentage points), 25.3 percent access social networks or blogs (up 1.1 percentage points) and 16.5 percent listened to music on their phone (also a 1.1. percentage points increase). Mobile gaming held consistent at 23.7 percent.

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