Android gained in the U.S. market in March after three months of consecutive declines, increasing its market share slightly to 52%, according to comScore.
That’s still down nearly 2 percentage points from Android’s market share peak in November and is only up 1 percentage point from a year ago.
Rival Apple continues to pick up market share on the back of a strong iPhone 5 release. At the end of March, Apple accounted for 39% of U.S. smartphone users, up from 31% a year ago.
comScore measures market share by installed base, not shipments. It looks at U.S. smartphone subscribers over the age of 13.
Given the healthy growth of the overall smartphone market, however, Android still has 17 million more net users in the U.S. than a year ago. Apple picked up 21 million net users in the same period.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system has yet to gain traction. Its market share fell slightly to 3% last month, which means it actually shed 200,000 net users in March.
Since its introduction in late October, Windows Phone has only added 400,000 net American users. Nokia is expected to release the Lumia 928 this week in the U.S. market, which may help Windows Phone a bit, but we don’t see evidence of a turnaround yet.
Meanwhile, the overall U.S. market continues to see robust penetration growth. Smartphone penetration is now 58 per cent, a 13 percentage point increase over a year prior, and an acceleration of growth. However, we don’t believe the acceleration is sustainable. Eventually, penetration growth will slow.
It is important to remember that with the rapid emergence of China, the U.S. is no longer as central to the global smartphone market as it previously was.
Here’s a look at U.S. smartphone penetration growth:
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