Apple’s iOS Gains Share in Fourth Quarter as Android Declines

Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iOS smartphone operating system gained ground in the U.S. in the final quarter of 2013 as the share of the market served by the platforms of Google Inc. (GOOG), Microsoft Corp. and BlackBerry Ltd. shrank.

The market share of Google’s Android operating system slipped 0.3 percentage point to 51.5 percent as Apple gained 1.2 percentage points to end the year with almost 42 percent of the market, ComScore Inc. said in a statement today. BlackBerry, which recently hired Foxconn Group to build its devices, fell 0.4 percentage point to 3.4 percent, while Microsoft declined 0.2 percentage point to 3.1 percent.

Device makers are battling for market share as more consumers switch to Internet-connected smartphones like Apple’s iPhone or Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy. The release of Apple’s new high-end iPhone 5S and the cheaper 5C for the holidays put pressure on competing phones at multiple price points, Bloomberg Industries analysts John Butler and Joshua Yatskowitz said in a Jan. 31 report.

Google agreed to sell its phonemaking unit Motorola Mobility to Lenovo Group Ltd. for $2.9 billion last week. The Mountain View, California-based company’s Android system runs on devices made by multiple companies including Samsung, LG Electronics Inc. and HTC Corp. (2498) Apple’s iPhone is the only smartphone running the company’s operating system.

The iPhone is the most popular phone in the U.S. with 41.8 percent of users. Samsung ended the year with 26.1 percent. Both Cupertino, California-based Apple and Samsung gained 1.2 percentage point in market share in the fourth quarter.

The ComScore report said Facebook Inc.’s mobile application had the biggest market share with 77.4 percent of Android and iOS users. Google websites were the most visited on mobile phones running the two operating systems with 88.3 percent of users.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gerrit De Vynck in Toronto at gdevynck@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net

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