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Report: Android dominates US smartphone market

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As 2011 ends, Google employees, especially those involved with Android, will probably be popping a few extra corks, given that it emerged victorious in the latest bout in an ongoing war with Apple's iOS for top smartphone platform.

In a recently released report from comScore, Android made up nearly 47 percent of the U.S. smartphone market share by the end of November, followed by iOS at nearly 29 percent. But Android rose more than 3 percent from the previous month, while iOS only climbed 1.4 percent. 

Research in Motion, the makers of the beleaguered BlackBerry, hung in for third place at 16.6 percent, after a 3.1 percent fall.

While 234 million Americans age 13 or older use mobile devices, currently just 91.4 million own smartphones, so it's an area with plenty of potential growth.

One of the most prolific Android pushers, Samsung, scored big with consumers as the No. 1 overall handset manufacturer, with 25.6 percent of mobile subscribers choosing one of its smartphones or regular mobile phones. Though LG isn't nearly as successful in smartphones, its overall business is still big enough to keep it in second place, at 20.5 percent. 

Samsung may be the biggest purveyor of Android devices, but some issues still rankle Android devotees. While Samsung's Galaxy Nexus is the industry's forerunner for the latest version of Android (4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich), the Korean electronics giant recently made a major faux pas with its customers by not offering the Ice Cream Sandwich update to its current Galaxy S phones. Anyone who bought a phone as recently as this holiday season is stuck with a year-old software version, 2.3 aka Gingerbread — if they're lucky.

With the introduction of the iPhone 4S in October, Apple made the biggest gain among the top five handset makers, from 9.8 percent in August to 11.2 percent in November.

Text messages still dominated U.S. mobile phone usage, with 72.6 percent devoted to sending messages to others. Nearly 45 percent of users downloaded apps, while 44.4 percent used the browser. Social networking came in fourth at 33 percent.

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