comScore released their first quarter 2012 U.S. mobile market share numbers recently, and though Apple has had a solid climb to 14% market share, LG was still ahead with 19.3% while Samsung claimed 26%. The gap in smartphone platform market share with Android is widening, as Google's mobile OS snagged 51%, and iOS sat at 30.7%. Outside of the U.S., IDC's latest research shows that Apple was in second place behind Samsung among smartphone vendors worldwide. comScore went on to examine mobile phone usage; 74.3% of mobile owners sent text messages between January and March, half of them downloaded apps, 49.3% used the browser, 36.1% used a social network or read a blog, 32.6% played games, and 25.3% listened to music. It boggles me that playing music (even on dumbphones) isn't more popular. I just don't get why you would bother managing an entirely separate device when one will do just as well.
Despite still being in third place, Apple is enjoying the most growth out of all of the mobile manufacturers in the U.S. having seen a 1.6 point change in growth since December's report. Even though Android is likely to maintain its lead in operating system share, I really doubt any single Android manufacturer will come close to beating out iPhone any time soon. Research like this also serves as a reminder that dumb phones are still a big part of the overall mobile market, and that Apple would do well to offer something entry level that consumers could get on a prepaid basis. That direction would really make the most out of any Walmart presence Apple establishes.