The data from Canaccord Genuity looks at the top-selling devices at AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless and shows trends across the last four months. In April, for example, the Apple iPhone 5 held the top spot at all four carriers. At both AT&T and Sprint, sales of the iPhone 5 were followed by the Galaxy S4 and HTC One. At T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, the iPhone 5 was followed by the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II. Canaccord didn't provide a breakdown of hard sales figures.
In May, however, sales of the Galaxy S4 picked up dramatically and surpassed those of the iPhone 5 at Sprint, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless, where Apple's iconic device slipped to second place. The iPhone 5 remained the best-selling device on AT&T's network, however. The HTC One filled the third-place berth at AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile USA.
[ Which phone has the better screen? Read Galaxy S4 Vs. iPhone 5: Display Shoot-Out. ]
The Nokia Lumia 928, which is only available from Verizon Wireless, was the third-best-selling phone on Big Red's network. Why wasn't the HTC One in third place as with the others? Verizon Wireless doesn't yet sell the HTC One. It won't until later this summer.
The bottom line? Samsung's phone outpaced Apple's during the month of May -- but it has never been all that far behind.
During the months of February and March, for example, the top three phones at AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless were the iPhone 5, the Galaxy S III, and the Galaxy Note II. The iPhone 5 wasn't available from T-Mobile during February and March, so T-Mobile's top three devices were the Galaxy S III, Note II, and LG Nexus 4. Apple's iPhone 5 might have ridden a strong wave of adoption during its first few months of availability, but Samsung has always been nipping at its heels.
The Galaxy S4 was just released and interest in the device was high. It's no surprise that the GS4 bested the iPhone 5 during its debut month. The same thing happened in 2012 when the Galaxy S III launched. Samsung's smartphone outsold the iPhone 4S during August 2012 ahead of the iPhone 5's debut.
"We believe dominant sales of the S4 versus other Android smartphones was driven by Samsung's extremely strong Galaxy consumer brand and well-executed marketing campaign," said Walkley, "as our surveys indicated store representatives often recommended the HTC One ahead of the Galaxy S4."
It's good to see that HTC's device is popular at the three carriers selling it. As it has been for the last two years, though, Apple and Samsung are the top contenders.