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Apple Extends Its Lead in U.S. Smartphone Market

Daily Ticker

Apple (AAPL) shares may be on a downward spiral these days, but the company's money-making iPhone is in high demand.

The smartphone gained 2% market share in the U.S. between October 2012 to December 2012, according to recent to comScore data. During those three months Apple held 36% of the market, making it the #1 smartphone maker in the U.S.

Google's (GOOG) android system, which is used by many different phone makers, ranked as the No. 1 smartphone platform with 53.4% market share.

Related: Apple Analyst Thinks The Stock Is A Steal At This Price

According to comScore, 126 million people in the U.S. owned a smartphone during that three month period, up 5% from September. Samsung controlled 21% of the smartphone market versus 9.1% for HTC and 10.2% for Motorola.

Apple sold a record 47.8 million iPhones in its last fiscal quarter, compared to 37 million in the year-ago quarter. But those figures missed Wall Street's expectations and the stock fell on the news. Apple shares are down nearly 15% year-to-date.

Related: While Apple Deflates, Google Stock Blasts To An All-Time High

So what do these comScore numbers mean for Apple?

"It is good that Apple gained some share," says The Daily Ticker's Henry Blodget in the accompanying interview. "[But] you have to look at it on a platform basis because it is not just about economies of scale and manufacturing....it is also about building a big base of people who are standardizing their lives on your platform."

Apple may be leading its rivals in the U.S. but the company lags in other major global markets.

"Globally is where they are in trouble because they are not in emerging markets because the iPhone is too expensive," says Blodget. "They have got to come out with a cheaper iPhone to compete in those markets."

Related: Apple's Saviour: A New Cheaper iPhone?

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