Android Continues To Gain Momentum

By the end of 2010, it's likely that Android will have surpassed the iPhone in U.S. market share, becoming the second-most popular smartphone platform, and on its way to becoming No. 1 sometime next year.

Research company comScore, in its latest smartphone usage report, shows Google's mobile OS skyrocketing in usage, up to 23.5 percent since July 2010. That represents an increase of 6.5 percent. The only other OS to show positive growth in the same timeframe was Apple's iOS, which powers the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. iOS gained less than a point, ticking up from 23.8 percent to 24.6 percent. In July, Android was nearly 7 percent behind iOS. The latest figures put Android within striking distance of iOS.

The big loser was Research in Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry, which continues to hemmorhage users. RIM usage plummeted 3.5 percent, from 39.3 percent to 35.8 percent in the quarter. Microsoft also took a substantial hit, losing 2.1 percent share in diving from 11.8 percent to 9.7 percent. It should be noted that Microsoft's figures may not represent a trend, since its latest entry in the market, Windows Phone 7, was released at the end of October. Palm's OS dropped a point, from 4.9 percent to 3.9 percent.

ComScore said that 60.7 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones in October, a 14 percent increase from the previous quarter. So even though three out of the five manufacturers lost share between July and October, the number of phones sold by each will likely continue to grow, given the strength of the segment.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.