updated 06:48 pm EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
Apple remains top vendor among US sellers with 37 percent share
According to a new report issued by Counterpoint, the US market for smartphones is near the saturation point -- with 87 percent of mobile phone owners now using smartphones, as of the end of the first calendar quarter of the year. Overall growth in the US market was pegged at seven percent, with 75 percent of the smartphones sold capable of using LTE high-speed cellular data. Apple remains the top US vendor.
In yet another indicator of the disparity between shipments to retailers and sales to end users, Samsung was reported to have shipped the most handsets, but Apple continued to dominate as the top-selling vendor. The iOS platform was used by 36.9 percent of smartphone owners, the largest share for an individual manufacturer.
Amongst the four top carriers in the US, Apple averaged just over half of all sales at AT&T and Verizon and about 27 percent of sales at T-Mobile and Sprint. Samsung was consistently just under 30 percent apart from T-Mobile, where it averaged 24 percent. By platform, iOS is behind the combined Android shipment numbers, 37 percent to 59 percent -- but the iOS platform has been gaining strength in the US market in recent quarters, and will likely jump again when the next iPhone is announced.
Usage studies also suggest that the iPhone's actual share is closer to 53 percent, with all combined Android usage at 44.5 percent, again hinting at a discrepancy in relying on shipment figures to determine marketshare.
One possible surprise is the very slow but steady growth of Windows Mobile, which is approaching four percent of US share. The smartphone platform appears to be picking up some steam following the departure of former CEO Steve Ballmer, though its tablet sector continues to be mired in consumer apathy.
Usage studies, however, still peg the combined Windows Mobile and BlackBerry smartphone platforms at around 1.8 percent actual US end-user activity. The Counterpoint study notes that 70 percent of all LTE-capable smartphones sold in the US market come from either Apple or Samsung.