Competition Heats Up In US Smartphone Market

What makes tracking just how well the iPhone is doing difficult is the reluctance of major mobile manufacturers or retailers to release official sales figures. Unlike the standard games industry, which has the NPD to fall back on, those looking to see just who is making their mark in the world of smartphones have to rely on third-party sources– sources that generate their figures using a variety of different, and sometimes confusing, means.

ComScore, however, is one of the more reliable sales trackers. This marketing research firm regularly publishes what it believes to be the state of play in the US mobile market. If we take its word as gospel, then Apple currently has much to cheer about, as the firm’s latest figures for the three month period between October and January show a slight rise in the iPhone’s market share in the face of stiff competition.

Indeed, comScore claims iPhone is the second biggest player in the US smartphone market, accounting for just over a quarter of all users at the start of the year.

That puts it a way behind BlackBerry maker RIM’s 43 percent, but comfortably ahead of Apple’s long-time rival Microsoft, whose share dropped like a stone to less than 16 percent of the market in the run-up to Windows Phone 7’s launch.

However, while Apple’s performance– considering it has just one smartphone on sale– remains impressive, the smartphone market is perhaps the most competitive in the States at the moment. Google’s Android platform is gaining considerable momentum, as its OS currently sits in fourth place according to comScore’s statistics, but its share has more than doubled since October.

If Android continues to grow at is current rate, it could be challenging Apple’s position as the second-biggest player in the market at this time next year.

[Via comScore]

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