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Apple Passes Samsung to Become Top U.S. Mobile Phone Vendor

February 1, 2013

Apple iPhone 5

Apple has passed South Korean electronics firm Samsung to become the No. 1 mobile phone vender in the U.S., according to new data from research firm Strategy Analytics.

In the report, released today, the research group estimates that Apple shipped 17.7 million phones in the fourth quarter of 2012, giving the company 34 percent of the overall market share of mobile phone sales in the U.S.

During the same period, the firm estimates that Samsung, the leading mobile phone vendor since 2008, shipped 16.8 million mobile phones, giving the company a 32 percent share of the overall U.S. market.

The only other mobile vendor to come close to Apple and Samsung's numbers was LG, which shipped 4.7 million mobile phones, giving it a 9 percent share of the market, according to the research firm's numbers.

These latest numbers support the recent comments made by Apple CEO Tim Cook during a conference call with analysts last month, during which he reported record sales of iPhones and iPads in recent months. However, despite the company's record numbers, Wall Street analysts remain skeptical of Apple's streamlined product offerings versus the diverse line-up sold by Samsung.

Nevertheless, Cook remained resolute in his commitment to the strategy originally crafted by the late Steve Jobs, telling analysts, "we could put the Apple brand in lot of things and sell lot more stuff but that's not what we're here for... We want to make only the best products…"

And while Apple's market share jump marks the company's first time as the leading mobile phone vendor in the U.S., the uptick also appears to represent an overall increase in mobile phone shipments in the U.S. According to Strategy Analytics, shipments in the country reached 52 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a four percent increase compared to the same period in 2011, when the firm estimated 50.2 million units were shipped.



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