October 7, 2010, 9:58 AM

The number of smartphone subscribers climbs 14% in August

Google’s Android operating system continues to gain ground.

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55.7 million U.S. consumers owned smartphones during the three months ending in August, up 14% from the three months ending in May, web and mobile web measurement firm comScore Inc. reports. Google Inc.’s Android operating system took market share from its rivals during the quarter.

Research In Motion’s BlackBerry operating system ranked first in market share with 37.6% of U.S. smartphone subscribers, down 4.1 percentage points from the previous three-month period. It was followed by Apple with 24.2%, down 0.2 percentage points. Google’s Android operating system continues to gain ground, rising 6.6 percentage points to hit 19.6% of smartphone users. Microsoft accounted for 10.8%, a decrease of 2.4 percentage points; Palm came in fifth with 4.6%, down 0.2 percentage points.

Despite losing share to Android, most smartphone platforms continue to gain subscribers as the smartphone market overall continues to grow, comScore says.

Text messaging is the top activity among smartphone and traditional mobile phone users, comScore reports. In August, nearly 67% of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile devices, up 1.4 percentage points versus the prior three-month period. 34.5% used mobile browsers, up 2.6 percentage points; 32.3% downloaded apps, up 2.3 percentage points; and 22.5% accessed social networking sites or blogs from their mobile devices, an increase of 1.7 percentage points. Listening to music on a mobile phone eked out a 0.4 percentage point increase, with 14.7% of subscribers using their phones to play tunes. Game playing via a mobile device rose 0.5% to account for 23% of mobile phone users.

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