Google's Android Grabbing Smartphone Market Share

Google's (GOOG) Android mobile operating system continues to gobble up chunks of the rapidly expanding smartphone market, according to a new study that shows Android gaining at the expense of Apple (AAPL), Research In Motion (RIMM) and Microsoft (MSFT).

Android's U.S. market share jumped from 9% to 13% since February -- an increase of 45%, according to the latest research from comScore. Blackberry-maker RIM and Apple both slipped slightly but maintained their top positions with 41.7% and 24.4% respectively.

RIM and Apple still have a commanding lead, but consider this: since last October, the market shares of both companies have remained basically flat. Over that same period, Google's share has increased from 2.8% to 13.0% -- or well over 300%. The big losers have clearly been Microsoft which has seen its share drop from 19.7% to 13.2% and Palm which has fallen from 7.8% to 4.8%.

In other words, Apple and RIM are basically holding steady. Microsoft and Palm are falling away. And Google is exploding.

Off to the Races

The smartphone market today is basically a land grab -- or a gold rush, if you'd prefer -- as millions of people transition from simple "feature" phones to fancier, web-enabled devices like the iPhone, Blackberry and Droid. In just three months, smartphone ownership has increased 8.1% to 49.1 million people.

That means 4 million people have moved into the smartphone market since February -- and that's not even counting the millions that will own an iPhone 4, released in June, after the survey time period. That overall growth is buoying the rest of the market, even as Google has claimed over 10% of the market in just six months.

"Despite losing share to Google Android, most smartphone platforms continue to gain subscribers as the smartphone market overall continues to grow," comScore noted.

The group found the fastest growing activities on smartphones to be browsing the Web, visiting social networking sites, and using downloaded applications.

Feb 2010 - May 2010:

October 2009 - January 2010:

Source: comScore MobiLens