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Android Pummels Apple, Blackberry in Smartphone Race

Data reveals Android is winning the U.S. smartphone horse race

In the race for smartphone dominance the Android OS reigns supreme with the once leading Blackberry OS drifting rapidly to the bottom of the heap. According to statistics from market analysts at Comscore Americans continue to turn away from Blackberry. Meanwhile, in a three-month period ending in May, smartphone ownership in the U.S. rose by 11 percent according to Comscore.

Google Android devices lead the smartphone pack with 38.1 percent of all U.S. mobile subscribers, a 5.1 percentage point increase compared to the three months previous. Apple followed a distant second with 26.6 percent rising by 1.4 points, and Research In Motion came in third with 24.7 percent, a loss of 4.2 percentage points.

Dropping Off A Cliff

RIM is still a major player in the U.S. smartphone market but the company is steadily losing market share. Blackberry was the second largest mobile platform as early as three months ago when comScore last released its previous usage data. If you go back even further comScore's numbers tell a darker tale for RIM. In May 2010, for example, comScore pegged RIM as the dominant smartphone force in the U.S. with 41.7 percent of the market. Meaning the company has lost 17 percentage points in the past 12 months, based on comScore numbers.

Misery Loves Company

But RIM isn't the only company to struggle with the growing dominance of Android. Despite critical acclaim for its Windows Phone 7 platform, Microsoft continues to disappear into irrelevance among U.S. smartphone users. Over the past 12 months, Microsoft has lost 7.4 percentage points dropping from 13.2 percent of the U.S. smartphone market to just 5.8 percent, according to comScore.

Popularity for Palm's WebOS is also dwindling, but WebOS may experience a resurgence now that it has the marketing power of Hewlett-Packard behind it. HP in April 2010 bought Palm for $1.2 billion.

Even second place Apple is struggling to keep up with Google. Looking at comScore's May 2010 numbers, Apple was second place at 24.4 percent of all U.S. mobile subscribers. Google, meanwhile, occupied the fourth spot just behind Microsoft with 13 percent of U.S. smartphone users. Android has grown incredibly over the past 12 months, while Apple's popularity has remained relatively stable.

As Android's lead steadily increases, the U.S. smartphone market is quickly turning into a two-horse race between Google and Apple. And it's not just comScore's numbers either; other metrics firms such as Nielsen are finding similar results. The fact is, if RIM, Microsoft and WebOS keep slipping who knows if there will be a credible third place challenger to Android and the iPhone by the end of the year?

Connect with Ian Paul ( @ianpaul ) and Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

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