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Google Android widens lead on Apple's iPhone in US smartphone market

New data released Monday revealed that Google's Android mobile OS has widened its lead on Apple's iPhone and gained significantly on Research in Motion, the top smartphone platform in the US.

According to a comScore report released Monday, smartphone ownership in the US grew 60 percent year over year to 63.2 million owners in the three months ending in December 2010. Google saw the biggest gains, climbing within several points of BlackBerry maker RIM.

Meanwhile, Apple grew 0.7 percent from 24.3 percent of total smartphone subscribers in the US in the September 2010 quarter to a 3 month average of 25 percent in December 2010.

Google, which leapt past Apple to take the No. 2 spot in November, continued its rapid growth, posting 7.3 percent growth from last quarter in its platform market share. As of December 2010, the Android maker had taken 28.7 percent of the US smartphone market share, compared to 21.4 percent in the third quarter of 2010.

RIM saw its share of US smartphone subscribers plummet from 37.3 percent in September 2010 to 31.6 percent as of December 2010. With sales of Blackberry smartphones slowing in the US, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company has shifted its focus to international markets as of late, resulting in just one-third of its revenue coming from the US last quarter.

Microsoft saw its share of subscribers drop from 9.9 percent in September 2010 to 8.4 percent in the December quarter, as Windows Phone 7 failed to gain traction. Palm also continued to lose share, dropping from 4.2 percent to 3.7 percent over the same period.

Source: comScore MobiLens

Last month, research firm Canalys reported that the Google platform, which includes Android as well as Chinese variants OMS and Tapas, had overtaken Nokia to become the top smartphone platform maker in the world.

According to data published Monday by IDC, Apple still holds its position as the No.2 worldwide smartphone maker, though top Android vendors, such as Samsung and HTC, did see impressive growth.

The iPhone maker may post significant gains in market share this quarter with the release of the iPhone 4 on Verizon. The nation's largest wireless network announced last week that presales of the iPhone 4 beat the carrier's previous sales records in just two hours. According to one analyst, the preorder and launch supply of CDMA iPhone 4s could include as many as 2 million units.