Yet Another Gloomy Threshold for Research In Motion

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Like clockwork, market researcher comScore has released its latest figures on how the smartphone war is panning out. The digits cover the three-month average period ending in July and include data on more than 30,000 domestic mobile subscribers.

Unsurprisingly, Samsung ranked as the top handset manufacturer, followed closely by LG in second and Apple (NAS: AAPL) coming in third. These digits cover the U.S. mobile market, including smartphones and dumbphones.


April 2012 Market Share

July 2012 Market Share


Source: comScore.

There weren't any major changes sequentially. Year-over-year would have been more insightful, but those figures weren't given directly. Looking on the smartphone platform front, iOS and Google (NAS: GOOG) Android continue to grow, although their collective growth is beginning to slow as the market reaches saturation. The two combined already comprise nearly 90% of the market.


April 2012 Market Share

July 2012 Market Share

Research In Motion (NAS: RIMM) 11.6%9.5%
Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) 4%3.6%

Source: comScore.

comScore estimates that 114 million people own smartphones domestically, up 7% sequentially. Research In Motion has crossed a gloomy threshold into single-digit territory, and I'd expect the BlackBerry maker to continue its losses in the near term. BlackBerry 10 isn't due out until next year, assuming no further delays, so only then would RIM have a chance at turning the tide if its new OS platform can impress consumers.

Microsoft shrank during the quarter, as the software giant is in the midst of a transition of its own from Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8, the first devices of which are just now starting to be unveiled to the market.

This has long been a two-horse race, but that fact isn't going to stop RIM and Microsoft from duking it out for the bronze medal.

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