Apple is all too used to the rumor cycle affecting its sales: the company just saw a dip in sequential iPhone shipments this spring as customers waited for what would ultimately become the iPhone 5. If you believe ComScore’s US smartphone market share estimates, though, Apple wasn’t the worse for wear this August. While the iPhone was in the doldrums this spring, it jumped almost a whole point versus an already positive July to hit 34.3 percent; we’re wondering if last-minute discounts played a part in keeping iPhone 4S sales healthy. Google didn’t have much to fear and saw Android climb to 52.6 percent, even if its ascent wasn’t as rapid as that of its Bay Area neighbor. RIM took the brunt of the losses and dipped to just 8.3 percent of the market in what’s increasingly a two-horse race, although Microsoft’s Windows Phone held its ground at 3.6 percent.
The wider US cellphone market tells a familiar story, with Samsung on top. There’s signs that the narrative is very close to changing, however: LG and Apple are now close enough, at one point’s difference, that Apple could seize second place by the time we see ComScore’s figures for September. Before interpreting Apple’s performance as some sign of a wider reversal of fortune, just remember that most of its challenges are on the world stage. There’s no guarantee that the Android-focused markets beyond American borders have been as receptive to iPhone price drops and updates.