comScore: Just Over One-Third Of U.S. Consumers Use Smartphones

Everyone likes to talk about the boom in smartphone use, but the reality is that even in the most advanced markets, there is still a long way to grow: figures out from comScore today indicate that in the U.S., only around 35 percent of all consumers over the age of 13 use a smartphone, and in the last quarter, less than half of all consumers used any form of advanced data service beyond texting. What is the other the main takeaway from today’s mobile market figures released by comScore? (NSDQ: SCOR) That the platforms and OEMs that have been gaining ground this year are continuing to do so, while those that have been lagging behind became an even more distant threat to those at the top.

comScore says that in the last three months to July 2011, Android reinforced its lead as the top smartphone platform in the country, accounting for 41.8 percent of all smartphones, a rise of 5.4 percent compared to the previous quarter. Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) did not grow as much, but still picked up one percentage point to remain in second position, with 27 percent of all smartphone subscribers using iPhones.

Meanwhile, RIM (NSDQ: RIMM), Windows Phone 7 and Symbian all lost market share, with RIM seeing the biggest drop of all, widening the gap between itself and iOS in the rankings:

Overall, Samsung has continued to hold the title of biggest OEM in the U.S., with a 25.5 percent share of the market, a growth of one percent. Apple, which only makes smartphones, comes in at number-four in the rankings, but its share grew the most compared to the preceding quarter: it now has a 9.5 percent share of the market, representing a growth of 1.2 percent. At the rate that Apple is going, it looks like it will soon overtake the next-biggest OEM on the list, Motorola (NYSE: MMI), which makes both feature and smart devices and lost 1.5 percent of its market share this quarter:

comScore says that today 82.2 million use a smartphone, while overall there are now 234 million U.S. consumers using mobile phones. That works out to a smartphone penetration of around 35 percent — a sign that there is still more growth to come in the market.

And it is perhaps because the majority of U.S. consumers still use feature phones (and a few very low-end ones at that) that the figures on mobile data usage are not higher. Although more than 70 percent of people used their phones to send an SMS, when it came to other mobile data services, the numbers were not as high. During the quarter, only around 40 percent used a mobile browser or an app (which incidentally are virtually level in terms of usage — so much for apps killing off mobile web use, or the converse). Only around one-third used a social networking service; less than a third played a mobile game; and only around 20 percent used their devices to listen to music.

On the positive side for the mobile world, though, all those numbers are going in the right direction at the moment — up.