More Good News for Apple

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) registered its biggest-ever jump in growth in the U.S. mobile market in the quarter ending in October, though arch rival Samsung continued to hold the top spot. Apple leaped from third place at the end of July to second with a 17.8 percent share, behind Samsung’s 26.3 percent, according to the latest comScore report. In the prior quarter, Samsung had a 25.6 percent share, while Apple had 16.3 percent.

What Does the U.S. Smartphone Market Look Like?

The two leaders were the only two of the top five to gain subscribers quarter-over-quarter, but Apple topped the growth charts with a 1.5 percentage-point growth that was double Samsung’s 0.7. Apple’s growth can be attributed to the record-setting launch of the iPhone 5, which hit store shelves at the end of September, Apple Insider said.

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LG Electronics with 17.6 percent, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) unit Motorola with 11 percent, and HTC with 6 percent rounded out the top five. However, the share of all three of these firms fell from that in the previous quarter, with LG losing 0.8 percent, Motorola losing 0.2 percent, and HTC losing 0.4 percent.

Overall, 121.3 million people had smartphones in the U.S., which represents a penetration rate of about 52 percent of the mobile market. Google’s Android in still the leading smartphone platform with 53.6 percent of subscriber share, while Apple’s iOS is at 34.3 percent. Research In Motion’s (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry lost 1.7 percent of its base to be at 7.8 percent and was followed by Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone at 3.2 percent and Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) Symbian 0.6 percent.

What Could This Mean for Apple’s Stock?

The report is good news for Apple and its watchers, even though main rival Samsung continues to hold the top spot. The fact that the iPhone maker’s share increased, and did so faster than any other manufacturer’s, is positive because it hints at growth opportunities within the country and undercuts the opinion that Apple may be flattening out domestically.

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