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Apple closes in on Samsung in the US at expense of BlackBerry maker

SAN FRANCISCO -- Apple narrowed the gap with Samsung smartphones in the precious U.S. market in the months before the release of the hot-selling iPhone 5 model, industry tracker comScore reported on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Apple and Android-powered smartphones continued to dominate the U.S. market, where both platforms increased shares evidently at the expense of BlackBerry handsets made by Canada-based Research In Motion (RIM).

Samsung remained the top smartphone in the United States with an unchanged 25.7 percent of the market at the end of August while Apple's portion grew to 17.1 percent as compared to 15 percent in May, according to comScore.

Motorola and LG both lost just shy of a percent of market share to finish August with 11.2 percent and 18.2 percent of the U.S. market respectively.

The number of smartphone owners in the United States grew six percent to 116.5 million in the three-month period that ended with the start of September.

Google-backed Android software remained the most popular smartphone platform with its share of the market growing 1.7 percent to 52.6 percent. Apple's bite grew 2.4 percent to 34.3 percent, according to comScore.

Apple's portion of the U.S. market is expected to get even bigger given the record-breaking pace of sales of the latest-generation iPhone 5 model released last month.

Apple and Android gains in the quarter came at the expense of BlackBerry handsets made by Canada-based Research In Motion and smartphones powered by Microsoft or Symbian software, according to comScore figures.

RIM's share of the U.S. market slid 3.1 percent to 8.3 percent while Microsoft and Symbian shed 0.4 percent each to drop to 3.6 and 0.7 percent respectively.

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