Apple now biggest US phone seller (Update)

Feb 01, 2013 by Peter Svensson
Advertisements for the iPhone 5 are displayed at an mobile phone store on January 14, 2013 in New York City. Apple dethroned Samsung as the top US mobile phone vendor in the final quarter of last year, claiming a record share of 34 percent, research firm Strategy Analytics reported Friday.

The launch of the iPhone 5 and the declining popularity of non-smartphones have made Apple the biggest seller of phones in the U.S. for the first time, research firm Strategy Analytics said Friday.

The firm estimates that Apple shipped 17.7 million iPhones of all kinds to U.S. buyers in the October to December period, meaning it accounted for one in three new phones.

Samsung Electronics of Korea was close behind, shipping 16.8 million phones, including non-smart ones. Samsung has been the largest seller of phones to the U.S. market since 2008, Strategy Analytics said.

NPD Group, another research firm, found that Samsung phones still outsold the iPhone in the quarter, by 31 percent to 29 percent. It tracks retails sales while Strategy Analytics tracks shipments, so the numbers are not directly comparable.

Worldwide, it's clear that Samsung is still the biggest phone vendor with 23 percent of the market, according to a third research firm, IDC. Apple is number three, with 9.9 percent of the market. In between sits Nokia with 17.9 percent.

Samsung beats Apple globally even when only smartphones are considered. It shipped 63.7 million units worldwide versus Apple's 47.8 million.

IPhones are more expensive than most Samsung smartphones. They're well within reach for U.S. buyers, but not for buyers in the developing world, where cheaper phones running Google Inc.'s Android operating system dominate.

In the U.S., iPhone sales are usually very strong in the first few months after a new model is released. They then taper off. That means Samsung could regain the phone crown as early as this quarter, as measured by Strategy Analytics.

NPD said the iPhone 5 was the single most popular phone in the U.S. in the holiday quarter. The Samsung Galaxy S III was No. 2, followed by the older iPhone models, the 4S and 4.

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User comments : 9

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komone
2 / 5 (4) Feb 01, 2013
Seems to me that you get what you pay for. The greatest advantage of iOS/iPhone is that it is a very good choice for the general consumer. It may be that an android phone is great for the geekier amongst us, but I will say that once I shifted my parents to iPhone the "tech support" calls from them disappeared... you pay your money - you take your choice - and please do take the appropriate choice knowing that your "computer-savvy" relatives will suffer if you decide to cut corners.
packrat
1.6 / 5 (10) Feb 01, 2013
That's been Apple's whole selling point now for years. They don't make computer equipment for people that want to know how it works. They make computer appliances for people that just want to use them. It's been that way since the first Mac hit the market. It's why they keep a walled in garden setup in that they can control every aspect of the device. That also means though that they don't have much room for excuses if it doesn't. I don't own an Apple anything (I think their stuff is overpriced for what you get) but I give them full credit on the fact their equipment normally works well and that's all most people want. In my experience most people don't care how it works inside as long as it does.
Anda
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 01, 2013
"IPhones are more expensive than most Samsung smartphones. So, they're well within reach for U.S. buyers, but not for buyers in the developing world, where cheaper phones running Google Inc.'s Android operating system dominate."

Well, in the other "developed" countries android phones dominate too.
Apple can pay for having articles like this one published everywhere, but Apple is quite dead.
NikFromNYC
1.4 / 5 (10) Feb 01, 2013
As much as I find gadget news on a science blog jarring, I will exclaim that upgrading from iPhone model 4 to 5 has been life changing. WiFi stays connected finally, apps don't hang every five minutes, and workflow is no longer defined by a fight between finger gesture instinct and interface delays that reverse your intent. For the rest of human history, device stress needn't cause undue stress that ruins people's health.
jonnyboy
2.3 / 5 (9) Feb 01, 2013
As much as I find gadget news on a science blog jarring, I will exclaim that upgrading from iPhone model 4 to 5 has been life changing. WiFi stays connected finally, apps don't hang every five minutes, and workflow is no longer defined by a fight between finger gesture instinct and interface delays that reverse your intent. For the rest of human history, device stress needn't cause undue stress that ruins people's health.


welcome to the past. my evo 4g has had none of those problems for 2.5 years now.
aroc91
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 01, 2013
Seems to me that you get what you pay for. The greatest advantage of iOS/iPhone is that it is a very good choice for the general consumer. It may be that an android phone is great for the geekier amongst us, but I will say that once I shifted my parents to iPhone the "tech support" calls from them disappeared... you pay your money - you take your choice - and please do take the appropriate choice knowing that your "computer-savvy" relatives will suffer if you decide to cut corners.


The interfaces of Android and iOS are functionally identical. Unless you're a power user, there's really no difference between them.
DougR
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 01, 2013
Here's part of the reason: Google can't seem to fix a couple of critical bugs in Android: wifi and bluetooth are currently broken.
mjlavall
3.4 / 5 (5) Feb 02, 2013
Here's part of the reason: Google can't seem to fix a couple of critical bugs in Android: wifi and bluetooth are currently broken.


That's interesting news indeed, especially considering I use wifi and Bluetooth every day on my Android phone and tablet and have never seen a single issue with either.
defactoseven
3 / 5 (2) Feb 04, 2013
Looks like phys.org is desperate for Apple ad cash again. Apple sales trolls get paid pretty well too. It's all BS. Apple died in the 1980s. This is iJobs psychological corporate control of what's left of the American mind. It's hilariously disgusting to see someone equate the ruin of people's health and the future history of the human race with WiFi hangs, fighting finger gestures, and interfaces that ruin your intent. How courageous and expansive we humans have become! And here I thought solving world hunger and the advancement of scientific knowledge was important. Stupid me.