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Apple's iPhone exceeds Windows Mobile in US usage - study

Though previous studies found the iPhone was outselling Windows Mobile devices and had a greater presence online, Apple's handset finally unseated Microsoft devices in terms of overall use in October, a new study has found.

The latest survey of mobile operating system marketshare from research firm comScore found that the iPhone spiked to nearly 9 million U.S. users by the month of October, pushing it well past Microsoft's total of just over 7 million users. In July, the two companies were about even in total mobile OS market share. The latest survey data was obtained by FierceWireless.

comScore has found that about 36 million Americans own a smartphone, while another 196 million own a traditional cell phone. The numbers are meant to represent actual ownership and use of devices, rather than sales.

The milestone has been expected. In August, it was revealed that the iPhone, for the first time, outsold all Windows Mobile phones in the second quarter of 2009. Globally, Apple had a 13.7 percent share of the market, while Windows Mobile took just 9 percent during that frame.

The iPhone's Web presence has been particularly impressive, according to studies. One in November found that the iPhone was responsible for half of all mobile data traffic worldwide. That's well ahead of Symbian (25 percent), Android (11 percent), RIM (7 percent) and Windows Mobile (3 percent).

The most recent comScore data allegedly represents the first study released since the debut of the iPhone 3GS in June. The numbers also include the Palm Pre, though its webOS operating system reportedly has not achieved enough of an install base to appear.

Source: comScore

In July, Microsoft held a slight lead over Apple, by less than 30,000 total units. But three months later, Windows Mobile had added less than a half-million users, while the iPhone had gained more than 2.2 million.

The totals represent a three-month average ending in October of U.S. mobile subscribers aged 13 and up. Respondents were asked to indicate the phone they own.

ComScore 2
Source: comScore