According to a report published on Friday by research firm Strategy Analytics, Samsung is no longer the top mobile maker in the US. For the first time ever, Apple (AAPL) has taken that title thanks to its extensive marketing of the new iPhone 5 profile that helped Cupertino to claim the US mobile crown.
The report shows that 52 million 4G smartphones and 3G feature phones were shipped in the U.S. over the last fiscal quarter of 2012, with Apple taking a record 34% marketshare. Samsung came second, with a 32.3 percent share.
Strategy Analytics said that Apple sold an estimated 17.7 million mobile units during the three months ending in December, up from 12.8 million in 2011. By comparison, Samsung shipped 16.8 million units during the same period, up from 13.5 million in the year-ago quarter. Despite loosing the top spot, this was a good performance from Samsung, according to the report — which noted that the company’s market share rose 5 points from 27 percent a year earlier. Coming in a distant third was LG, which shipped 4.7 million mobile phones in Q4 2012, down from 6.9 million units in 2011. Its market share in the US dipped from 13.7 percent a year ago to 9 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, Strategy Analytics ’s Executive Director.
By claiming the top spot in the US mobile phone market for the first time, Apple broke Samsung’s winning streak, which had persisted since 2008. That said, Cupertino should not get too comfortable as the South Korean electronics giant will surely fight back this year to recapture that spot by launching new and improved models such as the rumored Galaxy S4.