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iPhone Dominates U.S. Smartphone Market in 2013

Apple continues to dominate the U.S. smartphone market. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company ended 2013 claiming more than 40 percent of smartphone usage -- beating its biggest competitor by a decent margin.

Specifically, Apple's numbers came in at 41.8 percent while Samsung owned 26.1 percent of the market by the end of last year, according to the latest data from comScore. Both Apple and Samsung grew in market share throughout Q4 2013, with Apple's numbers bumping up from 40.6 percent in September 2013 to 41.8 percent by December 2013. Samsung's market share, comparatively, increased from 24.9 percent to 26.1 percent throughout the same time period.

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Despite HTC and Motorola's efforts to allure mobile shoppers with such devices as the One and Moto X, both companies lost market share at the end of last year. Motorola's stake in the U.S. smartphone market dipped slightly from 6.8 percent in September 2013 to 6.7 percent in December. HTC took a more drastic hit, with its slice shrinking from 7.1 percent to 5.7 percent over the same 4-month period.

Although more smartphone owners in the U.S. seem to be using Apple phones than any other vendor, Android is still the most widely used smartphone platform. As of December 2013 Android accounted for 51.5 percent of the American smartphone market, although this represents a small drop from the 51.8 percent it claimed in September 2013. 

According to comScore's numbers, Microsoft hasn't even come close to encroaching on Google and Apple's territory. Windows Phone market share is still trailing BlackBerry with just 3.1 percent of the U.S. smartphone market as of December 2013. Despite Nokia's effort to push Windows Phone as the photography-centric platform with its line of Lumia devices, the OS isn't gaining enough traction to stiff its competitors.

Now that Windows Phone has been optimized for 1080p displays, we'll be waiting to see if Microsoft's rumored Windows Phone 8.1 update makes the platform more appealing to mobile consumers. The software update, which may be announced at Build 2014 in April,  is expected to bring an improved notification center and Siri-like voice controls.