By Rip Empson
comScore’s February mobile report was released today, and it looks like good news for Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). Android increased its lead as the top mobile platform, growing 7 percentage points since November, and strengthening its top position with 33 percent market share.
Following behind Android is RIM (RIMM), ranked second with 28.9 percent market share, and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) with 25.2 percent. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Palm rounded out the top five, with 7.7 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.
In the big picture, the mobile numbers continue to impress. Over the last three months, an average of 234 million Americans (13 and older) used mobile devices. That’s 75 percent of the population. Nearly 67 million of those mobile users were employing smartphones, representing a 13 percent rise from November. Smartphone usage only continues to grow, as you will remember that comScore’s November report showed smartphone usage growing by 10 percent since the summer of ’10.
Of the millions of mobile devices in use this year, Samsung remained the top manufacturer with 24.8 percent of mobile subscribers, followed by LG at 20.9 percent, Motorola (NYSE:MMI) at 16.1 percent, and RIM at 8.6 percent. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple had the biggest surge since November, gaining a percentage point of market share, though it continues to trail the other manufacturers at 7.5 percent. The principal cause of Apple’s three-month gain? Why the Verizon iPhone, of course. According to comScore, the Verizon iPhone was the most acquired handset in February.
Lastly, comScore’s report shows that the many particular uses of smartphones are, again, on the rise. Text messaging, mobile browser use, app downloading, social networking, games, and music all were on the rise on mobile in early 2011. Accessing social networks represented the largest growth on mobile over the last period.