Apple, Android Still Lead The Smartphone Pack

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - When you check this set of smartphone numbers, it looks like Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone and Google's ( GOOG) Android OS were "kings of the hill and top of the heap" in the U.S. at the end of last year.

In the final quarter of 2012, tech research firm comScore reports that Apple was the top smartphone manufacturer with 36.3% market share, while Google's Android operating system was the No.1 smartphone platform with 53.4% share.

When you examine the actual numbers it shows that Apple's fourth-quarter 2012 market share rose 2 percentage points from September to December. Samsung's share was up 2.3 percentage points (from 18.7% to 21%) in the same time period. On the other hand, HTC's share dropped 1.8 percentage points (to 10.2%), Motorola dropped nearly a full point, down to 9.1%, and in fifth place for smartphone OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), LG showed a very modest gain of half a percentage point, to 7.1%.

As for platform popularity, comScore says 53.4% of all smartphone subscribers age 13 and up preferred Android devices (down nearly a percentage point from the prior quarter) while 36.3% were iOS devotees (a gain of 2 percentage points). Blackberry ( BBRY) lost 2 percentage points (now at 6.4% overall), Microsoft's ( MSFT) Windows Phone OS was down nearly one percentage point to 2.9% and Symbian - abandoned by Nokia ( NOK) for the Windows Phone OS - remained steady at 0.6% share.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.