Apple and Android Make Up 93 percent of U.S. Smartphone Market

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) or Android? If it seems like everyone you know has a smartphone that uses either Apple iOS or Android phone these days, it’s because they make up about 93 percent of the American smartphone market, according to data for February 2014 from American digital analytics firm comScore Data Mine released in April. Forbes broke the news in a story Monday about how Apple is starting to narrow the gap with Android.

Android is the frontrunner among smartphones with about 51 percent of the market in December 2013. It has held the top spot since 2011, according to the data. Apple is in second place with 42 percent of the market. The remaining 7 percent of the smartphone market is BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), and open-source mobile operating system Symbian.

In many ways, this mirrors the world’s rapidly growing smartphone market. Apple and Android are the top of the market internationally too, but the two are also fierce competitors with polar opposite approaches. Apple software is used exclusively for Apple devices. Android software is used by a wide variety of smartphone manufacturers including Samsung, LG, Motorola, Sony, and HTC. Apple is strictly closed-source with its software. Android makes its source code available to all.

When it comes to making phones on the world stage, Apple remains in the number two spot, with the top spot going to Samsung internationally. But in its native country, Apple is the top smartphone manufacturer with about 40 percent of the market, followed by Samsung who has 27 percent of the American smartphone market. Three other Android-based manufacturers, LG, Motorola, and HTC round out the top five smartphone makers in the U.S. market. Like the international market, the American smartphone market is experiencing rapid growth as more Americans ditch classic cell phones for smartphones.

Smartphone ownership is up among Americans significantly over the past few years. Pew found in a recent survey that 56 percent of Americans owned smartphones, up from 35 percent in 2011. With overall mobile phone ownership hovering around 90 percent, the smartphones have become the majority by a slight margin. American adults age 35 or younger are most likely to own the devices.

Despite growth, Apple has yet to crack the top smartphone operating system spot in its native United States because several companies use the Android operating system versus Apple being the sole user of its iOS operating system. The company has seen huge gains in this area since the original iPhone premiered in 2007, but by 2010 Android already had the edge over Apple.

Despite its constant competition with Android’s various manufacturers, Apple makes the most profit out of any other smartphone company. Apple makes 60 percent of the smartphone market’s profits.

More From Wall St. Cheat Sheet: