SAN FRANCISCO Feb 1 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