Google and Apple Have This Market Cornered

There are now more than 100 million smartphone owners in this country, and a growing number of them have pledged their temporary allegiance to either iOS or Android.

comScore is out with fresh market share data, and it's no surprise to see Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) gaining ground at the expense of everyone else. It's their world, and Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) , Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) , and Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) are just living in it.

First let's take a look at the data, which compares the three-month average market share ending in October of last year to the following three months ending in January of this year.

  Oct. 2011 Jan. 2012
Google 46.3% 48.6%
Apple 28.1% 29.5%
RIM 17.2% 15.2%
Microsoft 5.4% 4.4%
Symbian 1.6% 1.5%

Source: comScore.

Google's Android is a beast. It actually gobbled up more market share than Apple despite the buzz late last year for the iPhone 4S. The trend is undeniable. As soon as this current quarter, more than half of the country's smartphones may be Android devices.

Apple is no slouch, especially considering that it generates the lion's share of the industry's profitability.

It gets downright ugly after that.

RIM continues to surrender market share, and it's not going to get better. BMO Capital analyst Tim Long slashed his price target on RIM -- from $15 to $12 -- after disappointing channel checks and concerns about the late introduction of RIM's BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

Microsoft may be surprising sinker the way it's shelling out big bucks for Nokia to shift from emphasizing Symbian to Microsoft's mobile platform. Then again, the bigger push of Nokia handsets fueled by Microsoft will come later this year. It may be "too little, too late" but it's hard to count out Mr. Softy and his billions.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Google, Microsoft, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Nokia. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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