U.S. smartphone users top 100 million and they are increasingly likely to use their mobile devices for more than just phone calls. U.S. smartphone users top 100 million and they are increasingly likely to use their mobile devices for more than just phone calls.
U.S. smartphone users topped the 100-million mark in January, a 13 percent increase since October 2011, according to data released today by the MobilLens service of comScore, Inc., which tracks the mobile communications industry.
For the three-month period ending January 2012, an average of 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile communications devices, and 101.1 million of them subscribed to smartphones. Thedata is based on a survey of more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers.
A growing share of mobile phone customers use their devices for purposes other than placing calls. The percentage that uses mobile phones to send text messages, download mobile apps, access social networking platforms, play games or listen to music has increased from October to January.
Nearly three-fourths (74.6 percent) of mobile subscribers used their mobile devices to send text messages, an increase of 2.8 percentage points since October. The share of subscribers downloading mobile apps increased 4.8 percent to 48.6 percent of subscribers. The share of subscribers accessing social networking sites or blogs increased 3.4 percent to 35.7 percent of mobile subscribers. The share that plays games on their mobile devices rose 2.6 percent to 31.8 percent. The percentage who listens to music on their phones rose 3.3 percent to 24.5 percent.
The growing demand for mobile apps has pushed downloads to record levels. Yesterday, Apple Inc. announced more than 25 billion apps have been downloaded from its App Store for use on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices worldwide.
“When we launched the App Store less than four years ago, we never imagined that mobile apps would become the phenomenon that they have,” said Eddy Due, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services at Apple. The App store offers more than 550 different applications for uses of Apple smartphone, music player and tablet devices and has paid more than $4 billion to developers of mobile apps.
Samsung emerged as the top handset manufacturer with a 25.4 percent market share, followed by LG, which has a 19.7 percent share, and Motorola, with a 19.7 percent share. The Apple share of the manufacturing market increased 2 percent to 12.8 percent of total mobile subscribers from October to January.
An increasingly large share of the smartphone market is controlled by Google Android. The Android is now used by 48.6 percent of smartphone subscribers, an increase of 2.3 percent since October, followed by Apple which has nearly 30 percent of the market, an increase of 1.4 percent. The share of smartphone users held by Research in Motion, or RIM, fell 2 percent to 15.2 percent, while the Microsoft share fell 1 percent to 4.4 percent and Symbian’s market share inched down 0.1 percent to 1.5 percent.