Smartphone launches sometimes have to build up steam before they can go full speed ahead. Apple might be learning this first-hand, based on ComScore's figures. After a lackluster October, the company's just-reported November smartphone market share in the US was up sharply, to 35 percent; while the spike isn't directly credited to the iPhone 5, rapidly growing availability of the company's newest smartphone certainly didn't hurt. Android was still comfortably ruling the roost at 53.7 percent, although its share was only a slight increase over October. As such, most of Apple's gain during the month came from smaller rivals' pain.
It was a more familiar story among individual phone makers. Samsung had a comfortable lead at 26.9 percent of the larger American cellphone market in November, while Apple padded its advantage over a sinking LG to hit 18.5 percent. With Motorola and HTC also on the downward slide, the US market this fall was increasingly mirroring its global counterpart, where it was really Apple and Samsung's game to play -- others might have to be content watching from the sidelines in the future.