Apple Now the Top U.S. Phone Maker

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A big jump in Q4 sales pushed Apple to the top of the U.S. phone market for the first time ever. Apple has taken the lead in smartphone sales in the U.S. before, but last quarter was the first time it sold more handsets of any kind, smartphones, featurephones, and dumbphones.

According to market-research firm Strategy Analytics, Samsung had been the number-one mobile phone vendor in the U.S. every quarter since 2008. Only time will tell if Samsung will regain this title soon.

The Top Three

Apple shipped 17.7 million mobile phones in the U.S. during Q4 2012, giving it a 34% share of the market. This was up sharply from 12.8 million units shipped and a 25% share in Q4 2011.

Samsung shipped 16.8 million handsets last quarter, for a 32% share. This was up 5 points year-over-year.

LG was in third place in the U.S. market. Strategy Analytics estimates the company shipped 4.7 million handsets in Q4, for a 9% share. It is having a hard time competing with Apple and Samsung, as its quarter was down year-over-year from 6.9 million units and a 14% share.

Down Overall

Mobile phone shipments during the fourth quarter in the U.S. grew 4% year-over-year, from 50 million units to 52 million. However, for the whole year, shipments fell 11% — from 187 million units in 2011 to 167 million in 2012.

Strategy Analytics blamed tis decrease in “economic uncertainty and tighter carrier upgrade policies”.



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