The ComScore survey measures about 10,000 different subscribers each month on a continuing basis and, at the end of each month, reports the responses for a three-month period.
In smartphone share, ComScore also found that although RIM phones accounted for the largest share of smartphones in use in the three-month period at 31.6 percent, RIM's share declined sequentially from 37.3 percent in the previous three-month period ending September.
Among users of all types of cellphones, Samsung remained the top brand during the year-end period, with its share rising 1.3 percentage points sequentially to 24.8 percent while the share held by each of the next four top brands fell slightly. Although the other four top suppliers lost some share, their relative rankings remained the same compared to the previous three-month period, with LG placing second followed in order by Motorola, RIM and Nokia.
For the three months ending December, ComScore found that 234 million Americans ages 13 and older used cellphones and that 63.2 million people used smartphones, up 60 percent from the three months ending December 2009. The percentage of cellphone users using smartphones came to 27 percent at the end of 2010.
In measuring smartphone OS share, RIM led the ranking, with a 31.6 percent share of smartphones in use, while Android moved up to second place, with 28.7 percent, up 7.3 percentage points vs. the three-month period ending September. Apple accounted for 25 percent of smartphone subscribers, up 0.7 percentage points sequentially, but its rank nonetheless fell to third place. Apple was followed by Microsoft, with 8.4 percent, and Palm, with 3.7 percent.
Among users of all types of cellphones, Samsung ranked at the top at the end of the year, with 24.8 percent of U.S. cellphone subscribers using Samsung phones, up 1.3 percentage points sequentially from the previous three-month period. LG ranked second, with 20.9 percent share, followed by Motorola, with 16.7 percent; RIM, with 8.5 percent; and Nokia with 7.0 percent.
In surveying consumers about their cellular use, ComScore found that 68 percent of subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 1 percentage point sequentially, while web browsers were used by 36.4 percent, up 1.3 percentage points. Subscribers who used downloaded applications accounted for 34.4 percent of subscribers, up 1.3 percentage points. Accessing social-networking sites or blogs increased 1.5 percentage points to represent 24.7 percent of mobile subscribers. A total of 23.2 percent played games on their phones, and 15.7 percent listened to music on their cellphone.