Apple and Samsung: Still Leaving Competitors in the Dust

The race for mobile dominance is an ongoing battle. Handsets continue to gain popularity in the United States as they become an increasing part of our daily lives. However, there can only be so many victors walking off the battlefield.

Who are the Front Runners?

ComScore (NASDAQ:SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, recently released data from the comScore MobilLens service that shows key developments in the U.S. mobile phone industry. The survey polled more than 30,000 domestic mobile subscribers to create a ranking of the top players. For the three-month average period ending in October, Samsung ranked as the top original equipment manufacturer, including smartphone and non-smartphone subscribers. The company captured 26.3 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers, an increase of 0.7 percent from the three-month period ending in July.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the world’s most valuable publicly traded company, followed Samsung with a record market share of 17.8 percent, a 1.5 percent jump from the July ended period. It was the first time Apple surpassed LG Electronics to overtake second place. LG is still close behind with a market share of 17.6 percent, but its share declined 0.8 percent from the previous period. As the chart below shows, Motorola and HTC round out the list with market shares of 11.0 percent and 6.0 percent, respectively.

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Smartphones continue to be a popular choice…

Smartphones are on the Rise

The U.S. is still witnessing strong growth for smartphone players. At the end of the October period, a whopping 121.3 million people owned smartphones in the U.S., representing a 51.9 percent mobile market penetration rate. Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform ranked first with 53.6 percent market share, while Apple came in second with 34.3 percent. Google and Apple both logged market share gains in the period, but Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Symbian all posted loses.

CHEAT SHEET Analysis: Are The Results a Positive “Catalyst for the Longer-Term?”

One of the core components of our CHEAT SHEET Investing Framework focuses on catalysts that will move a company’s stock. The latest report from comScore looks to be a positive catalyst, as long as the companies are named Samsung and Apple. The two have captured the market and other players are struggling to keep up or even show growth. In fact, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) recently called RIM “un-investable” in the near-term, as the company’s upcoming launch of BlackBerry 10 is seen as a hail marry pass to stay in the mobile game.

The trend of using mobile content is not showing any signs of slowing down. According to comScore, text messaging, usage of downloaded apps, web browsing, accessing social networking sites like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), playing games and listening to music all showed gains in the October period.

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