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comScore Tallies Jan US Mobile Market Share Numbers

comScore, Inc. has released its latest data from the comScore MobiLens service, reporting key trends in the U.S. mobile phone industry during the three month period between October 2009 and January 2010. The report ranked the leading mobile original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and smartphone operating system (OS) platforms in the U.S. according to their share of current mobile subscribers age 13 and older, as well as popular activities and content accessed via the subscriber's primary mobile phone.

The January report found Motorola to be the top handset manufacturer overall with 22.9 percent market share, while RIM led among smartphone platforms with 43.0 percent market share. During the period Palm Inc. dropped 2.1 percentage points to settle down at 5.7% of the US mobile market.

OEM Market Share

In the 3 month average ending in January, 234 million Americans were mobile subscribers ages 13 and older, with device manufacturer Motorola ranking as the top OEM with 22.9 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers. LG ranked second with 21.7 percent share, followed by Samsung (21.1 percent share), Nokia (9.1 percent share) and RIM (7.8 percent share).

Top Mobile OEMs
3 Month Avg. Ending Jan. 2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Oct. 2009
Total U.S. Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
  Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Oct-09 Jan-10 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Motorola 24.1% 22.9% -1.2
LG 22.0% 21.7% -0.3
Samsung 21.0% 21.1% 0.1
Nokia 9.3% 9.1% -0.2
RIM 6.4% 7.8% 1.4

Smartphone Platform Market Share

42.7 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones in an average month during the November to January period, up 18 percent from the August through October period. RIM was the leading mobile smartphone platform in the U.S. with 43.0 percent share of U.S. smartphone subscribers, rising 1.7 percentage points versus three months earlier. Apple ranked second with 25.1 percent share (up 0.3 percentage points), followed by Microsoft at 15.7 percent, Google at 7.1 percent (up 4.3 percentage points), and Palm at 5.7 percent. Google's Android platform continues to see rapid gains in market share.

Top Smartphone Platforms
3 Month Avg. Ending Jan. 2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Oct. 2009
Total U.S. Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
  Share (%) of Smartphone Subscribers
Oct-09 Jan-10 Point Change
Total Smartphone Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
RIM 41.3% 43.0% 1.7
Apple 24.8% 25.1% 0.3
Microsoft 19.7% 15.7% -4.0
Google 2.8% 7.1% 4.3
Palm 7.8% 5.7% -2.1

Mobile Content Usage

In an average month during the November through January 2010 time period, 63.5 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 1.5 percentage points versus three months prior. Browsers were used by 28.6 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers (up 1.8 percentage points), while subscribers who played games made up 21.7 percent (up 0.4 percentage points). Access of social networking sites or blogs experienced strong gains in the past three months, growing 3.3 percentage points to 17.1 percent of mobile subscribers.

Mobile Content Usage
3 Month Avg. Ending Jan. 2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Oct. 2009
Total U.S. Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
  Share (%) of U.S. Mobile Subscribers
Oct-09 Jan-10 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Sent text message to another phone 62.0% 63.5% 1.5
Used browser 26.8% 28.6% 1.8
Played games 21.3% 21.7% 0.4
Used Downloaded Apps 18.3% 19.8% 1.5
Accessed Social Networking Site or Blog 13.8% 17.1 % 3.3
Listened to music on mobile phone 11.6% 12.8% 1.2

Source: comScore Press Release.

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Forbidden Fruit: Microsoft Workers Hide Their iPhones

Gekko @ 3/13/2010 11:25:31 AM # Q

WSJ.com
* BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY
* MARCH 13, 2010

Forbidden Fruit: Microsoft Workers Hide Their iPhones
Steve Ballmer Sours on Apple Product; Work for Ford, Drive a Ford

BY NICK WINGFIELD

REDMOND, Wash.—Microsoft Corp. employees are passionate users of the latest tech toys. But there is one gadget love that many at the company dare not name: the iPhone.

The iPhone is made, of course, by Microsoft's longtime rival, Apple Inc. The device's success is a nagging reminder for Microsoft executives of how the company's own efforts to compete in the mobile business have fallen short in recent years. What is especially painful is that many of Microsoft's own employees are nuts for the device.

The perils of being an iPhone user at Microsoft were on display last September. At an all- company meeting in a Seattle sports stadium, one hapless employee used his iPhone to snap photos of Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer. Mr. Ballmer snatched the iPhone out of the employee's hands, placed it on the ground and pretended to stomp on it in front of thousands of Microsoft workers, according to people present. Mr. Ballmer uses phones from different manufacturers that run on Microsoft's mobile phone software.

A Microsoft spokeswoman declined to comment and declined to make executives available for this story.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs referred an email asking about iPhone use at Microsoft to a spokeswoman, who declined to comment.

Despite Mr. Ballmer's theatrics, iPhone users are in plain sight at Microsoft. At the sprawling campus here in a Seattle suburb, workers peck away on their iPhone touch-screens in conference rooms, cafeterias and lobbies. Among the top Microsoft executives who use the iPhone is J Allard, who helped create the Xbox game console and is chief experience officer for the entertainment and devices division.

Nearly 10,000 iPhone users were accessing the Microsoft employee email system last year, say two people who heard the estimates from senior Microsoft executives. That figure equals about 10% of the company's global work force.

Employees at Apple, in contrast, appear to be more devoted to the company's own mobile phone. Several people who work at the company or deal regularly with employees there say they can't recall seeing Apple workers with mobile phones other than the iPhone in recent memory.

IPhone usage at Microsoft is the latest twist in the rivalry between Apple and Microsoft, tech-industry titans that have mixed it up in everything from computer operating systems to digital music players.

For many top Microsoft executives, seeing so many iPhones around the office is a bit like how a Coca-Cola Co. manager might feel seeing underlings drink Pepsi—especially since Microsoft makes its own operating system, Windows Phone, that powers handsets.

Employee iPhone use has led to some spirited discussions among Microsoft executives. At a retreat last March for dozens of senior Microsoft executives at its corporate campus, someone asked about employee use of iPhones in a question-and-answer period.

According to several people present, Andy Lees, a Microsoft senior vice president who oversees development of the mobile-phone software business, and his boss, Robbie Bach, explained that Microsoft workers often use rival products to better understand the competition.

Kevin Turner, chief operating officer, scoffed at that explanation, these people said. Mr. Turner said he discouraged Microsoft's sales force from using the iPhone, they added. "What's good for the field is good for Redmond," Mr. Turner said, recalls one of the people who heard his comments.

Mr. Ballmer took a similar stance at the meeting.

He told executives that he grew up in Detroit, where his father worked for Ford Motor Co., and that his family always drove Fords, according to several people at the meeting.

In what some employees interpreted as a sign that Microsoft was clamping down on the iPhone, the company in early 2009 modified its corporate cellphone policy to only reimburse service fees for employees using phones that run on Windows Phone software.

Microsoft has said it made the change as part of a broader cost-cutting plan.

Some Microsoft workers take pains to hide their iPhones. While rank-and-file workers tend to use the iPhone openly around peers, some conceal them within sight of more senior executives. One Microsoft worker said he knows several colleagues who try to disguise their iPhones with cases that make them look more like generic handsets.

"Maybe once a year I'm in a meeting with Steve Ballmer," said this employee. "It doesn't matter who's calling, I'm not answering my phone."

Some executives have openly renounced their iPhones. Stephen Elop, president of Microsoft's business division, used Apple products before Mr. Ballmer lured him to Microsoft in early 2008. But at a meeting of Microsoft sales representatives after joining, Mr. Elop placed his personal iPhone into an industrial-strength blender and destroyed it in a reenactment of a popular Internet video, says one witness.

Others remain less shy about their iPhones. Microsoft software engineer Eugene Lin recently gave a public talk in Seattle about developing software for the iPhone in his spare time. One of his creations: a racy application called Peekaboo that lets people ogle scantily clad cartoon women. A YouTube video of the Seattle talk by Mr. Lin, who didn't respond to messages seeking comment, has been viewed more than 73,000 times.

Microsoft isn't uniformly opposed to employees using Apple products, in part because it makes some software and services for them. Apple's Macintosh computers are common in the Microsoft group that makes the Mac version of its Office software.

Still, Apple's ascendancy in mobile phones has been tough to stomach.

The iPhone accounted for 25.1% of the U.S. smartphone market during the three months ending Jan. 31, compared with 15.7% for phones running Windows Phone software, according to comScore Inc.

Windows mobile phones have lagged some of the innovations of the iPhone, including Apple's slick Web browser and the App Store for downloading software onto the device.

But there's positive buzz among Microsoft employees and others in the technology industry about an overhauled version of its software, Windows Phone 7 Series, expected to be on handsets in time for the holidays.

One person who isn't jumping on the iPhone bandwagon is co-founder and chairman Bill Gates. In an appearance on "The Daily Show" in January, host Jon Stewart asked Mr. Gates if he can have an iPhone since leaving full-time duties at Microsoft in 2008 to focus on philanthropy.

"I'm a very loyal Microsoft user," Mr. Gates replied.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052748703455804575057651922457356.html


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