Samsung and Google lead U.S. mobile phone markets

A survey of more than 30,000 U.S. mobile phone subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2011 found Samsung to be the top overall handset manufacturer with 25.3 percent market share. Google’s Android platform captured the smartphone lead with 47.3 percent market share, according to research firm comScore, which released the results of its survey last week.

comScore estimated that 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices during the three-month period ending in December 2011.

Rounding out the top five in the overall handset market (non-smartphones and smartphones) were LG with 20 percent market share, Motorola (13.3 percent), Apple (12.4 percent) and Blackberry-maker RIM (6.7 percent).

comScore reported that 97.9 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the recent three-month measurement period, representing 40 percent of all mobile subscribers.

Google Android’s market-leading smartphone position was up 2.5 percentage points from September. Apple grew 2.2 percentage points to 29.6 percent of the smartphone market. RIM ranked third with 16 percent share, followed by Microsoft (4.7 percent) and Symbian (1.4 percent).

A three-month average ending in December 2011 revealed that 74.3 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 3.2 percentage points from the period ending in September 2011. Downloaded applications were used by 47.6 percent of subscribers (up 5.1 percentage points), while browsers were used by 47.5 percent (up 4.6 percentage points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 3.8 percentage points to 35.3 percent of mobile subscribers. comScore said 31.4 percent of the mobile audience played games (up 2.6 percentage points), while 23.8 percent listened to music on their phones (up 2.9 percentage points).

The data reported by comScore refers to a respondent's primary mobile phone and does not include data related to a respondent's secondary device.