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NPD: Apple, Samsung Consolidate U.S. Smartphone Share

Port Washington, N.Y. – Smartphone penetration grew to 60 percent of the cellphone user base at the end of 2013, up from 2012’s 52 percent, and Apple and Samsung increased their share of the installed smartphone base to a combined 68 percent from the year-ago 57 percent, The NPD Group said.

Smartphone users’ data usage also grew during that time, in large part to stream music, the company said in citing the results of its “Connected Intelligence Connected Home” survey.

Among smartphone users, 42 percent used an Apple device in the fourth quarter of 2013, up from the year-ago 35 percent. Twenty-six percent used a Samsung phone, up from a year-ago 22 percent. LG was the only other major brand to increase its share in 2013, though its share grew from only 7 percent to almost 8 percent. Motorola, HTC and BlackBerry lost share, and the “other” category also shrank.

Data usage among smartphone owners went to an average 6.6GB/month from the year-ago 5.5GB/month, thanks to a “variety of activities,” but “a key driver has been the adoption of streaming music services such as Pandora and iHeartRadio,” NPD said. The percentage of smartphone users who use a music-streaming app increased to 52 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 from the year-ago 41 percent.

Pandora was the most often-used music app followed by iHeartRadio, Spotify, TuneIn Radio and Slacker Radio, all of which posted increased usage through smartphones, NPD said.

More than 5,000 consumers ages 18 and older were surveyed in the fourth quarter.