Apple edges past Samsung in US

Michael Carroll
04 Feb 2013

Apple is clawing back ground on Samsung in the US smartphone market, after the South Korean vendor barely increased shipments in the country in 2012.

Strategy Analytics figures place Apple as the top vendor in the US in 4Q12, overtaking Samsung for the first time with shipments of 17.7 million smartphones, and posting a record market share of 34%. That compares with shipments of 16.8 million units by Samsung, which was enough for a 32.2% share. LG lags in third with shipments of 4.7 million and a 9% market share.

“We estimate Apple shipped 17.7 million mobile phones for a record 34 percent share of the United States market in the fourth quarter of 2012. This was up sharply from 12.8 million units shipped and 25 percent share in Q4 2011,” says Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics.

For the full year, Samsung shipped 53 million smartphones in the US, barely up on 2011 when it shipped 52.3 million. In contrast, Apple shipped 43.7 million units in 2012, up from 29.7 million in 2011.

A possible reason for Samsung’s low growth is a contraction in the total number of smartphones shipped in the US in 2012. Neil Shah, senior analyst with the research firm, says US shipments fell 11% to 166.9 million in 2012, after the market “contracted 16% for the first three quarters.”

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