Apple edges out Samsung for mobile phone sales lead in fourth quarter

SAN FRANCISCO Fri Feb 1, 2013 3:01pm EST

A passerby photographs an Apple store logo with his Samsung Galaxy phone on the morning iPhone 5 goes on sale to the public in central Sydney September 21, 2012. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

A passerby photographs an Apple store logo with his Samsung Galaxy phone on the morning iPhone 5 goes on sale to the public in central Sydney September 21, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Tim Wimborne

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc became the top mobile phone seller for the first time in the lucrative U.S. market during the fourth quarter of 2012, outshining arch rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, a report by Strategy Analytics showed.

Apple's share of the U.S. mobile phone market, including feature phones and smartphones, jumped to 34 percent from 26 percent, while Samsung's share grew to 32.3 percent from 31.8 percent, the research firm said.

Samsung had been the top mobile phone vendor in the US since 2008, the firm said. Indeed, for the full year, Samsung still held the crown for mobile phone sales; it had a 31.8 percent share of the U.S. market in 2012, against Apple's 26.2 percent.

Apple investors have recently been anxious about the future growth prospects for the company amid intense competition from Samsung's cheaper phones, powered by Google's Android software, and signs the premium smartphone market may be close to saturation in developed markets.

Overall, mobile phone shipments rose 4 percent to 52 million units in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of 2012, driven by strong demand for 4G smartphones and 3G feature phones.

But in all of 2012, U.S. mobile phone shipments fell 11 percent to 166.9 million, Strategy Analytics said.

Apple sold 17.7 million iPhones in the U.S. in the fourth quarter, up 38 percent from the previous year, driven by aggressive marketing of its new iPhone 5 and steep carrier subsidies, the firm said. Samsung shipped 16.8 million phones during the same period.

In the international arena, Samsung Electronics, with a range of handsets, has overtaken Apple as the world's top smartphone seller.

(Reporting by Poornima Gupta; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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Comments (5)
Wingsy wrote:
“Apple sold 17.7 million iPhones in the U.S. in the fourth quarter, up 38 percent from the previous year, driven by aggressive marketing of its new iPhone 5 and steep carrier subsidies, the firm said. Samsung shipped 16.8 million phones during the same period.”

Apple did not say that sales were driven by aggressive marketing, you did. And if you’re going to talk about Apple’s “aggressive marketing”, why not mention that Samsung spent 12 billion on marketing in 2012. That’s more than Apple, HP, Dell and Microsoft COMBINED. Seems like Apple’s sales are due to something else besides marketing. Could it be customer satisfaction?

C’mon, be fair.

Feb 02, 2013 4:45am EST  --  Report as abuse
wthcares wrote:
I agree, Wingsy. Seems the liberal media takes sides in non-political news as well, and make shtuff up like they do for a certain high ranking US politician.

Feb 03, 2013 12:49am EST  --  Report as abuse
timebandit wrote:
Spot on, Wingsy. In J.D. Power customer satisfaction surveys, Apple consistently outranks Samsung and all other phone brands, as well as in surveys as to whether a customer will replace their existing handset with one by the same manufacturer. By nearly 2 to 1, Apple iPhone owners say they’ll buy another iPhone to the number of Samsung Galaxy owners who say they’ll replace their Galaxy with another Galaxy or even a Samsung.

Feb 03, 2013 2:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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