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ComScore: Android User Base Approaching That Of iPhone In U.S.

ComScore's October 2010 survey of the U.S. smartphone market shows market share for Google's Android platform quickly gaining on Apple's iPhone, with more smartphone owners than ever playing games on the devices.
ComScore has released its report on the U.S. smartphone market for October 2010, which shows smartphones using Google's Android operating system gaining on Apple's iPhone in terms of market share. The Android represents 23.5 percent of the U.S. smartphone market in ComScore's report, up from 17 percent in the July report. The platform's numbers are now approaching those of the iPhone, which represents 24.6 percent of the smartphone market, up just slightly from 23.8 percent in July's report. The increased market shares for Apple and Google came at the expense of Blackberry maker and smartphone leader Research in Motion, which fell to represent 35.8 percent of the market, and smartphone platforms from Microsoft and Palm, which now represent just under 10 percent and 4 percent of the market, respectively. However, the relatively broad diversity of Android device technical specifications, plus lack of a unified store means that it may be difficult for video game developers to reach as complete an audience on Android as on iPhone or iPad. In addition, ComScore's numbers do not include sales and use of the iPod Touch, which uses the same operating system as the iPhone and runs almost all of the games available on the App Store. A September analysis from market research firm Asymco estimated the iPod Touch had sold 45 million units worldwide; by contrast, the iPhone has sold over 59.6 million units. The new report places the total size of the U.S. smartphone market at 60.7 million people -- up 14 percent from July -- giving both the Android and iPhone platforms over 14 million users in the U.S. Smartphone users now represent one in four U.S. cell phone users, ComScore estimates. The report also found that 23.7 percent of these smartphone users had used the device to play games, up from 22.3 percent in July's report. In October, Angry Birds publisher Rovio announced it had 2 million copies of the free, ad-supported game downloaded on Android devices, just days after the title's release on the platform. Last week, Google started a mandatory rating system for games on Android devices.

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