Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
2/1/2013
09:17 AM
50%
50%

Apple Steals U.S. Smartphone Crown From Samsung

Apple took over the top spot in the fourth quarter. But its victory probably won't last long.

BlackBerry 10: Visual Tour Of Smartphones, OS
BlackBerry 10: Visual Tour Of Smartphones, OS
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
The smartphone battle royale between Apple and Samsung had a new victor during the fourth quarter of 2012. Apple shipped 17.7 million smartphones and Samsung shipped 16.8 mobile phones.

In fact, Apple shipped more phones than any other company in the U.S. in the last three months of the year, edging out even feature phone makers. All of Apple's 17.7 million devices were smartphones, but not all of Samsung's 16.8 million devices were. Some of them were feature phones.

"Apple has become the number one mobile phone vendor by volume in the United States for the first time ever," said Strategy Analytics. "Apple's success has been driven by its popular ecosystem of iPhones and App Store, generous carrier subsidies and extensive marketing around the new iPhone 5 model."

[ Apple owners aren't shy to update their devices. See Apple iOS 6.1 Sees Quick Adoption. ]

Apple's iPhones achieved 34% of the U.S. mobile phone market during the fourth quarter. Samsung, with its various Galaxy-branded smartphones, reached 32% of the U.S. mobile phone market.

Surprisingly, LG was the third-largest phone maker in the U.S. by volume during the fourth quarter. Strategy Analytics estimated that LG shipped 4.7 million mobile phones, winning 9% of the market. That's down from 6.9 million units and its 14% share last year.

LG fielded some worthy opponents to the iPhone and Galaxy S III / Note 2 during the fourth quarter. The Optimus G, sold by AT&T and Sprint in the U.S., is a solid device, and the basis for the Nexus 4, which also went on sale during the fourth quarter. The bulk of LG's sales, however, were likely its many mid-range Android smartphones.

In total, Strategy Analytics says U.S. mobile phone shipments grew 4% year-over-year to reach 52 million during the fourth quarter.

Don't feel bad for Samsung, though. It has plenty in store for 2013, and is preparing its latest salvo against Apple. Samsung released a teaser spot for a commercial it will air during The Big Game on Sunday. Here's the spot:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Nov. 10, 2014
Just 30% of respondents to our new survey say their companies are very or extremely effective at identifying critical data and analyzing it to make decisions, down from 42% in 2013. What gives?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.