Android breaks crucial 50 per cent of smartphones in use: comScore

But Apple still dominates the enterprise smartphone and tablet markets

Android may be lagging behind in the enterprise market, but in the consumer market it's still going full speed ahead.

The latest numbers from research firm comScore show that Android devices accounted for 51 per cent of all smartphones used in the United States in the first quarter of 2012, the first time comScore has found that Android has accounted for more than half of all smartphones used in the US over a given quarter. Apple's iOS accounted for 30.7 per cent of all smartphones used in Q1 2012, while Research in Motion's BlackBerry OS accounted for 12.3%. Quarter-over-quarter, RIM saw its share of the smartphone market decline by 3.7 percentage points, while Android saw its share increase by 3.7 percentage points. Or put another way, Android's rise in market share in the quarter was the exact same number as RIM's decline over the quarter.

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ComScore also found that Samsung, which produces the Galaxy line of Android smartphones, was the top overall manufacturer in the US, accounting for 26 per cent of all smartphones used in the quarter. LG (19.3 per cent of all smartphones used in the quarter), Apple (14 per cent), Motorola (128 per cent) and HTC (6 per cent) all rounded out the top five manufacturers on the quarter, comScore found.

While Android has been a tremendously successful mobile operating system for consumer smartphones, it has lagged behind Apple in both the enterprise smartphone market and the overall tablet market. According to the latest numbers released by mobile enterprise tech firm, Good Technology, iOS devices accounted for around 80 per cent of new activations on corporate networks in the first quarter of 2012, while Android-based devices accounted for just 20 per cent. No other mobile platform, such as Windows Mobile, registered enough activations on the quarter to crack Good's study, which tracked mobile device activations across thousands of companies that registered at least five activated mobile devices.

In the tablet environment, meanwhile, Apple's iPad still holds a stranglehold on the top spot as research firm iSuppli estimated earlier this year that iPads accounted for 57.6 per cent of all tablets sold in the fourth quarter of 2011. The Amazon Kindle Fire, which accounts for more than half of all Android tablets sold, has been the only Android tablet to really register as a commercial hit. And even then, the device's estimated 4 million Q4 2011 sales were thoroughly dwarfed by the iPad, which sold an estimated 15 million units in Q4 2011.

Google has only been seriously making a push into the tablet market since late last year, when it released Android 4.0 ("Ice Cream Sandwich"), the first version of the operating system designed to deliver the same user experience on both smartphones and tablets. In addition, the operating system came with several new features including a lock screen that can unlock using facial recognition software; Android Beam, technology that lets users send contact information, directions, Web pages and more via near field communications by tapping their phones together; and integration with the Google+ social network that lets users host online video chats among their circles of friends.

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Brad Reed

Network World

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