comScore: Android is now #1 in the US after passing iOS and Blackberry

This morning comScore released its mobile report for the month of January. Like the last one a month ago, Android shows no sign of stopping. However, this time Android managed to take the throne away from RIM to become the most popular mobile platform in the US. This is certainly an important breakthrough for Android. Which in little more than two years has gone from nothing to having the most market share. Let’s dig in, shall we.

Android now sits comfortably at a 31.2% market share, like I projected last month.  It grew 2.5% from the 28.7% share it had the month before. With Google pushing Android now more than ever and the growth we’re seeing in the Android Market I don’t expect Android to slow down any time soon. In fact, it’s growing faster than we expected. Last month I said Android could reach a +40% market share right before the year’s end. Looking at the data now, I think Android could very well reach +40% in the next couple of months. Ending the year somewhere close to a 50% piece of the market.

While Android was skyrocketing its way towards total domination, the remaining mobile platforms were either stable or in fast decline. RIM’s Blackberry kept ceding ground throughout January, dropping from 31.6% to 30.4%. If the Ontario-based company doesn’t stop the bleeding soon it could very well find itself fighting for the scraps with HP and Microsoft next year. In third place is Apple’s iOS, with a healthy 24.7% market share. The platform shrank by a tiny 0.3% from the 25% it had in December. However, Apple has nothing to worry about with iOS, even less now that the iPhone is available from Verizon. In the next comScore report we might see iOS’ market share start to rise a bit due to this, further accelerating Blackberry’s demise.

At the bottom of the barrel, the usual suspects are HP’s WebOS and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile/Phone. Regardless of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 revamp and its massive ad campaign, Windows Mobile/Phone’s percentage kept dropping during January. Microsoft now commands 8.0% of the market, a 0.4% drop from 8.4% in December. Maybe if Microsoft throws enough money at Windows Phone 7 it’ll eventually turn around; something like the 1 billion dollars it gave to Nokia to build WP7 phones. Coming in last is HP’s WebOS platform. Which now has a 2.9% market share, dropping 0.3% from 3.2%. Not much to say about WebOS other than we hope HP keeps it alive because it is truly a beautiful and fun to use OS.

Next month, I expect we’ll have more of the same. Android will keep its explosive growth fueled by Google’s non-stopping and neck-breaking software releases. iOS will expand its market share thanks to the Verizon iPhone. While Blackberry, Windows Phone 7 and WebOS all head further into the abyss. I’d hate to see the mobile war turn into a replica of the PC war with Android at 90% and iOS at 10%, but there’s a chance it might end that way. I’d miss the excitement of this many companies fighting it out mercilessly and the innovation they bring.

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