updated 12:40 pm EDT, Tue October 22, 2013
Position tied to release cycles
The launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c put Apple back on top of US smartphone sales during the month of September, new data from Counterpoint Research indicates. Samsung had been holding that spot since May, peaking at 37 percent in August. In September, though, Apple shot from 17 percent up to 39 percent, pushing Samsung down to 29 percent. The companies' next closest competitor, LG, slipped back under 10 percent, a threshold it was over between June and August. HTC, Motorola, and Nokia each have less than 5 percent of the US market.
In recent years, Apple and Samsung have regularly traded places at the top depending on where the former is in its release cycle. Whereas Samsung continually launches new phones, Apple only releases new models once a year. Samsung tends to gain the upper hand once an iPhone model is no longer "new," but an iPhone launch puts Apple on top for several months.