comScore: Samsung Tops, Apple Second In U.S. Mobile Market

by Gaurav Kheterpal on December 3, 2012

There’s never been a doubt that Android would always win the volume game ahead of Apple. Last year, Google’s flagship mobile operating system surpassed 50% of global smartphone sales as Android extended its dominance in Asia Pacific and Europe. In September, it was evident that more and more Canadians are seeking out Android-powered smartphones.

The latest comScore report confirms Android’s supremacy in the United States as well. Though Apple climbed to the second-place spot for the first time, it’s still way behind Samsung which still maintains a healthy lead with 26.3 percent of the market, after growing by .7 percentage points.

While some analysts believe Apple’s popularity is dipping among fans, I, for one, strongly believe that the upcoming holiday season would set the tone for the U.S smartphone market for year 2013.

As per the comScore report, Samsung was the top manufacturer with 26.3% market share, up from 25.6% in the prior period. Apple ranked second for the first time on record with 17.8 percent market share (up 1.5 percentage points), followed by LG with 17.6 percent share, Motorola with 11 percent and HTC with 6 percent. Interestingly though, Apple’s iPhone saw the highest level of growth with a 1.5% positive change over the three months ending in October as three of the top five phone makers saw declines, with LG, Motorola and HTC losing 0.8%, 0.2% and 0.4% share respectively. Top brand Samsung saw gains of 0.7%, thereby reflecting that Apple more than doubled the performance of the former.

Overall figures for the smartphone industry were impressive as 121.3 million people owned a handset by the end of October, a 51.9 percent penetration of the mobile market. It was no surprise that Google’s Android was once again the top performer, finishing with 53.6 percent of the U.S. market, up 1.4 percent from July. Apple’s iOS managed 0.9 percent growth during the same period, bringing its share of the market to 34.3 percent.

Of course, I have no doubt that ad it not because of iPhone 5, Apple may still be ranked a little lower than it is now. While the iPhone 5 was subject of several criticisms, the fact remains it’s currently the hottest selling smartphone all over the world. There’s the other wide of the story – an increased number of consumers, a lot of people still choose to buy the iPhone 4S simply because the iPhone 5 with all the media criticism around it, simply sounded like a high-risk investment to them.

It makes an interesting situation as Apple and Samsung continue to be locked in a fierce legal battle.  Given the growing bad blood with Samsung, Apple has been cutting back orders with respect to the new iPhone line, however, and sources have said that the company is looking to drop the South Korean company entirely from producing memory chips for their products. Instead, Apple has been looking to Toshiba, Elpida Memory and SK Hynix to supply NAND and DRAM chips.

On the other hand, experts say that while Apple may be diversifying some components of its iPhone supply chain this time around, the key supply chain between Samsung and Apple remains unbroken and as strong as ever – at least for now. The world of business is a funny place, where companies can sue the pants off each other in courts around the world but still maintain an absolutely vital supply chain relationship when it counts, even if they are vying for the lucrative #1 spot in the U.S. smartphone segment.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby:RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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