Apple is picking up more steam in the U.S. market, grabbing 38.9 percent rival Samsung’s 21.3 percent, according to data released Thursday by comScore.
The new statistics cover a three-month period ending in February and set up the next round of smartphone battles between the country’s top smartphone makers.
HTC — once the leading Android phone manufacturer— fell to 9.3 percent market share from 11 percent, as the company tries to regain ground with a new flagship model later this month. The HTC One has a 4.7-inch display and a new layout it calls “Blinkfeed.” Reminiscent of the blocky menu designs on Windows Phones, the One highlights updates from news sources and social networks on its home screen. The phone has an aluminum body and weighs in at just over 0.3 pounds.
Pre-orders for the device started Thursday on AT&T’s Web site; Sprint pre-orders start Friday. Consumers will be able to pick up the phone from both carriers in stores on April 19. T-Mobile has also confirmed that it will sell the HTC One but has yet to set a launch date.
With no new iPhone expected in the next couple of months, the HTC One will be the biggest competition for Samsung and its forthcoming Galaxy S4.
The much-anticipated S4’s 5-inch display and numerous software features, such as gesture-controlled menus and face-detection scrolling, could appeal to customers looking for a follow-up to the company’s wildly popular S III model.
The HTC One will start at $199.99 for a 32GB model on a two-year contract; the Galaxy S 4 starts at the same price for its 16GB model.
ComScore’s data also provided an update on the U.S. platform wars, which suggested that Android’s lead may be weakening. Apple also made gains here in the past few months, up nearly 4 percent for 38.9 percent of the market, while Google’s Android platform lost 2 percent, though still commanding a majority of the market with 51.7 percent.
Third-place BlackBerry lost 1.9 percent of its market share in the reporting period, which does not include the company’s U.S. launch of the new Z10 phone. Microsoft’s Windows Phone — BlackBerry’s largest rival for third place — ticked up slightly from 3 percent of the market to 3.2 percent of the market.
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