Android Surging in U.S. Smartphone Market; RIM Still Tops

USA Today is reporting that BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is king of the smartphone hill, according to data released by researcher comScore.

RIM had a 41.7% market share among smartphone platforms, topping Apple (iPhone) 24.4%, Microsoft (Windows) 13.2% and Google (Android) 13.0%. Palm, which was recently acquired by HP, lagged with a 4.8 % share.

The folks at RIM may not want to get overly giddy. The numbers reflect the three month period ending in May 2010, prior to the iPhone 4's release and before a slew of new Google Android devices invaded the market, including the HTC Evo 4G from Sprint and Motorola's Droid X from Verizon.

Most of the momentum indeed points to Android. Google gained four percentage points compared to the previous three month reporting period of February 2010, the only smartphone rival with a positive point change in market share during that time.

Still, comScore says overall smartphone ownership continues to grow, with 49.1 million people in the U.S. now owning such a device, up 8.1 percent over the corresponding February period.

I suspect that RIM will be king for another 1 - 2 years as companies relax use of non-blackberry phones on their networks. With the failure of KIN, Microsoft needs a home run with Windows Phone 7.

The competition in the mobile phone market will only get more fierce as more users move to smartphones. We are not even near 80 saturation of the smartphone market, so this a great time for companies to build device/brand loyalty.

How long do you think RIM can hang on? Let me know in the comments!

Read the post at USA Today.

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