Totaling 24 million units, U.S. smartphone shipments dropped 5% annually in 2Q, according to the latest results from Strategy Analytics’ research.

Smartphone shipments fell 5 percent annually to reach 23.8 million units in the United States in Q2 2012, commented Associate Director Alex Spektor in a press release. “This was one of the slowest growth rates ever experienced by the important US smartphone market.

“A volatile economy, maturing penetration of smartphones among contract mobile subscribers, and major operators tightening their upgrade policies to enhance profits were among the main causes of the slowdown.”

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Results were not equal across all platforms, however. Total 2Q Android smartphone shipments amounted to 13.4 million units as compared to the year-ago quarter’s total of 15.3 million. But total 2Q Apple iOS smartphone shipments amounted to 7.9 million, up 2 million year-over-year. Android’s smartphone market share fell four points to 56% on an annualized basis .

“Android remains the number one platform by volume in the United States, but its market share is approaching a peak and Apple iOS has been gaining ground,” added Executive Director Neil Mawston.

“Apple’s US market share has risen by ten points from 23 percent in Q2 2011 to 33 percent in Q2 2012. Apple is rumored to be launching a new iPhone in the coming weeks, and that event, if it takes place, is going to heap even more pressure on Android in its home market.”

Shipments of smartphones equipped with RIM’s Blackberry mobile OS continued to decline, Strategy Analytics said. Blackberry smartphone shipments totaled 1.6 million in 2Q, down from 2.7 million in 2Q 2011. All other mobile OS smartphone shipments dropped to 1 million from 1.4 million a year ago.

Blackberry’s U.S. smartphone market share dropped to its lowest level in recent history, commented Senior Analyst Scott Bicheno. “Consumers, businesses and operators continue to be frustrated by Blackberry’s limited touchscreen smartphone portfolio and repeated delays to its new BB10 operating system,” he stated.

Strategy Analytics’ “North America Smartphone Vendor & OS Market Share by Country: Q2 2012” report is available on the market research firm’s website.

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