According to Strategy Analytics, Apple became the number one mobile phone vendor in the United States during Q4 2012, overtaking Samsung, LG, and all of its competitors for the first time with 34 percent market share. Previously, Samsung had taken the lead for shipments each quarter since 2008.
The numbers come from the Wireless Device Strategies service, which estimate that Apple shipped 17.7 million mobile phones throughout the country during the quarter, up from 12.8 million from the year-ago quarter in 2011. Also, the 17.7 million can be compared to 16.8 million from Samsung in Q4 2012, 4.7 million from LG, and 12.8 million from all other vendors combined. LG’s shipments were down 2.2 million from Q4 2011 and Samsung’s unsurprisingly gained 3.3 million.
These shipments translate to the following market share percentages in the last quarter of 2012: 34 percent for Apple, 32.3 percent for Samsung, 9 percent for LG, and 24 percent for the rest collectively. While Apple was in the lead for the quarter, it finished in second for the entire year. Samsung claimed 31.8 percent market share for all of 2012 and Apple came in with a strong 26.2 percent.
“Apple’s success has been driven by its popular ecosystem of iPhones and App Store, generous carrier subsidies, and extensive marketing around the new iPhone 5 model,” said Neil Mawston, the Executive Director at Strategy Analytics. The technology giant (and cult leader, for some) recently announced a record-breaking 47.8 million iPhones sold during last quarter.
Total smartphone shipments grew 4 percent from 2011 to hit approximately 52 million in Q4 2012 and 166.9 for the whole year.