Are you one of the two in three Americans who still doesn't use a smartphone? What a shame
Not sure? Does your carrier not require you to get a data plan? Do your fingers go clickety-clack across just nine numeric keys? If yes, then you don't have a smartphone. But you should, and may soon if a ComScore survey of 30,000 Americans 13 and older is to be believed.
For the three months ended in May, there were 234 million cell phone users in the United States -- 76.8 million with smartphones. That works out the 32.8 percent, which ComScore graciously rounds up to one-third. But don't feel left out just yet. There are two definitions of the "in-crowd" here -- the ins who use smartphones and the ins that belong to the majority. Sixty-six percent is still a big number using, ahem, dumb phones.
ComScore measures market share by subscribers not devices or operating systems. By that reckoning, Samsung easily held its lead, with 24.8 percent of subscribers owning one of the manufacturer's devices. Now perhaps in considering a smartphone purchase, you were under the impression that iPhone is the market leader. No. No. That's some fiction spun by the overly ambitious Apple fanclub of bloggers and journalists. Apple places fourth, having clawed past Research in Motion during the past three months. Apple share is 8.7 percent up from 7.5 percent, while RIM is down from 8.6 percent to 8.1 percent.
Measured by number of subscribers using smartphones, Android ranks No.1 operating system, gaining a healthy 5.1 points of share -- to 38.1 percent. Apple's iOS, while coming in second, has only 26.6 percent share -- up 1.4 points from three months earlier.
Now in considering a smartphone, you might have heard some chatter about how Verizon iPhone helped Apple whip Android's knickers. That's just another of those fairy tales spun by the Apple fanclub. I debunked these myths in last week's "Android is unstoppable" post. The headline speaks for itself, but do read the post before buying that smartphone.
Android gained from others' losses -- the worst being BlackBerry OS, which plummeted 4.2 points to 24.7 percent share. Windows Phone receded 1.9 points to a paltry 5.8 percent share. Ouch!
If you're ready to buy that new smartphone but could wait a little longer, the Samsung Galaxy S II has received rave reviews and sold 3 million units during its first 55 days of availability. It's not quite available here in the United States but coming soon. Then there is iPhone 5, which is rumored to launch in September. The Motorola Droid 3 is about to drop at Verizon any day, assuming the bazillion rumors are true.
Remember, only 32.8 percent of Americans 13 and older own a smartphone for a reason. Data plans are usually required and they can be costly -- for Verizon subscribers prices go up in just two days. There's something to be said to sticking with the cost-conscious majority then. :)