NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- For more than a decade Apple
gadgets have had very little competition on holiday wish lists. This year, other tech toys are making a serious play for Apple's long-hoarded holiday shopping dollars.
Just last week, Apple reported a rare earnings miss in its third quarter and went conservative with its forecast for next quarter's holiday shopping season. Though competitors reported similar stumbles -- including Amazon , which operated at a loss last quarter -- none appeared as invulnerable to U.S. consumer whim as Apple had in recent years.
Unfortunately for Apple, that modest earnings slip is one of several unattractive wrinkles tech consumers are starting to notice. Its 17% market share among mobile phones in the U.S. still trails Samsung (which has 25.7%) and LG (18.2%), according to market research firm ComScore . Meanwhile, its iOS platform's 34.3% share of the U.S. smartphone market still trails Google Android's growing 52.6% stake.
That disparity is far more pronounced globally, where research firm Gartner says Nokia and Samsung's 41% mobile market share dwarfs Apple's 5%. Among global smartphone users, Apple fares somewhat better, with a 24% share of the market that's still been surpassed by Android's 50% dominance.
Among computer operating systems, Mac and iOS are still small players. According to web metrics firm Net Applications, Microsoft Windows is the operating system of choice on 84% of all personal computers in the world. Mac operating systems are just 6.3%, or little more that Windows Vista's 6.15%.