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Smartphone Subscriber Market Share: Apple and Samsung Keep Huge Lead

Douglas A. McIntyre

The more research that comes out about the smartphone sector, the clearer it becomes that the conventional wisdom is correct. Apple Inc. (AAPL) holds the top spot, based on most intelligence reports about the sector. More and more frequently, however, Samsung has taken that sport. In that case, Apple holds as a firm number two. The balance of the industry is doomed. The argument extents to mobile operating systems. Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android OS, championed by Samsung, holds the first place and iOS the second.  (Unless, of course, it is the other way around.)

comScore Inc. (SCOR) issued its September 2013 Smartphone Subscriber Market Share report which said:

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in the U.S. smartphone industry for September 2013. Apple ranked as the top smartphone manufacturer with 40.6 percent OEM market share, while Google Android led as the #1 smartphone platform with 51.8 percent platform market share

Apple investors can fret that Samsung's OEM market share improvement pace was slightly ahead of Apple's, between June and September which is the calendar range of the study. They can, however take heart that no other company has gained any ground at all. HTC, which was once considered the primary threat to the iPhone franchise, had a market share of only 7.1% down 1.4% from the previous measurement. Motorola and LG, next on the list, are barely a rounding error.

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No one believes that Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) or BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY) can pick up any ground in the OS segment. Only 3.8% of smartphone subscribers in the U.S. use a device with a BlackBerry OS. Microsoft's share is only 3.3%. The contrast between the two companies, so close together in their levels of failure, is that Microsoft has had billions of dollars to build a foundation without success, while BlackBerry has no money left to defend what was once the envy of the industry. Money, in both cases, means nothing without consumer demand.

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