The popular image of a generic smartphone may still be the Apple ( AAPL ) iPhone, but devices running on the Google ( GOOG ) Android operating system now command the largest market share, according to the latest report on the U.S. mobile market from ComScore.
Of course, Apple still dominates in revenue terms - each phone running iOS represents a device sale to Apple, while the Android operating system runs on dozens of different phones and tablets. In addition, Android is open-source, licensed on that basis and so provides no cash flow to the search giant.
The comScore report shows Google with 31.2 percent of the smartphone market in January 2011; the Canadian BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion ( RIMM ) lags just behind with 30.4 percent and Apple is a slightly more distant third with 24.7 percent of the market.
In October 2010, both RIM and Apple stood ahead of Google, with 35.8, 24.6 and 23.5 percent, respectively.
Hardware also remains dominated by three firms strongly affiliated with the Android ecosystem: Samsung, LG ( LPL ) and Motorola (MOT) hold the top spots there. However, it's important to note that these companies make a lot of "dumb" phones as well - and as widespread as they may seem in the concrete canyons of Manhattan or Los Angeles, smartphones only comprise 40 percent of the total U.S. mobile market.
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