Windows Phone passes BlackBerry in U.S., comScore says

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Windows Phone has passed BlackBerry as the third-largest smartphone platform within the United States, according to a Friday report by comScore. 

This is somewhat old news: IDC said in May 2013 that Windows Phone had topped BlackBerry, but Gartner and comScore didn't agree. The landscape of the smartphone market hasn't changed otherwise. Android still dominates the market with 51.7 percent of the market, down a half percentage point from October. Apple's iOS trails with 41.6 percent, up a full percentage point.

Apple is also the manufacturer with the largest market share, with 41.6 percent, followed by Samsung (26.7 percent) and LG (6.9 percent). Motorola and HTC ranked fourth and fifth, with 6.4 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively.

Microsoft has struggled to convince American smartphone users to adopt its Windows Phone platform, enough that the company has touted the gains made elsewhere in the world as proof of its success. Nokia, the leading supplier of Windows Phones and a company Microsoft is set to acquire for $7.17 billion, recently unveiled the Nokia X, a low-cost smartphone that uses a Windows Phone-like user interface on top of an Android code base.

It's likely, however, that Windows Phone's ascent isn't emblematic of support for the platform—rather, just continuing evidence of BlackBerry's fall. The once-dominant smartphone was caught flatfooted by the success of the iPhone and simply never recovered its stride. BlackBerry's share is now 3.1 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, down a half-point of market share since October.

The firm also identified the top apps: Facebook led the way, installed on 77 percent of the smartphones comScore surveyed. Google Play was next, with 52.4 percent, followed by YouTube (49.7 percent), Google Search (48 percent)  and Pandora (46.4 percent).

Overall, comScore said, 159.8 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (or 66.8 percent of the mobile market) during the three months ending in January, or up 7 percent since October. 

ComScore doesn't measure actual sales, but combines "panel" and "census-based" methods to arrive at its numbers.

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