RIM’s market share slide continues

LONDON  — Handsets using Android and Apple Inc.’s iOS gained a larger percentage of the U.S. smartphone market in the latter part of the year, while Research in Motion’s share declined along with Microsoft Corp. and Symbian, according to the latest figures from market researcher comScore.

Android’s market share rose from 43.8 percent at the end of August to 46.9 per cent at the end of last month, comScore said. A total of 91.4 million people in the U.S. own a smartphone, comScore said after surveying more than 30,000 users to derive its figures.

Apple held 28.7 per cent of the market, up from 27.3 percent. RIM slid from a 19.7 per cent share to 16.6, the biggest decline of five platforms ranked by comScore. Microsoft declined a half a per cent to 5.2 per cent, and Symbian fell from 1.8 per cent to 1.5 per cent.

Google’s open-source Android operating system is used by a variety of major manufacturers, including Samsung, LG, Motorola and HTC. Andy Rubin, Google’s senior vice-president of mobile, wrote on Twitter last week that 3.7 million Android devices were activated on the Christmas weekend alone.

As far as manufacturers for both smartphones and non-smartphones, Samsung held 25.6 per cent of the market and LG at 20.5 per cent. Motorola came in third at 13.7 per cent, followed by Apple at 11.2 per cent and RIM 6.5 per cent.

For RIM, the figures mark what has been a difficult year for the company, which experienced a major service outage in October and a tough launch of its PlayBook tablet.

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