updated 09:57 am EST, Fri February 1, 2013
Ships more units than Samsung for first time
For the first time, Apple has surpassed Samsung in quarterly US cellphone shipments, according to new estimates by Strategy Analytics. During the fourth quarter of 2012, Apple shipped roughly 17.7 million units, while Samsung shipped 16.8 million. Until now, Samsung has been the leading US phone vendor since 2008; in Q4 2011, for instance, the numbers were 12.8 million and 13.5 million, respectively. The achievement may be particularly significant as the Strategy Analytics data includes not just smartphones, but basic "feature" phones as well. Apple only produces smartphones, while Samsung sells significant numbers of "feature" phones as well as smartphones.
LG came in third place last quarter with 4.7 million units, a decline from 6.9 million the year before. A combined group of "other" phone makers accounted for 12.8 million units in Q4 2012, down from 17.1 million in 2011. Samsung still fared better than Apple on a year-long basis, delivering 53 million units to the US during 2012 versus Apple's 43.7 million. LG recorded 20.5 million phones, and the remaining phone makers together produced 49.7 million.
Overall US cellphone shipments slipped from 186.8 million in 2011 to 166.9 million in 2012. During Q4 2012, though, they increased year-over-year from 50.2 million to 52 million.