Wall Street may be down on Apple (AAPL) but American consumers clearly aren’t. Strategy Analytics on Friday published new research showing that Apple had become the No.1 overall handset vendor in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2012 with shipments of 17.7 million units, good for a 34% share of the American handset market. Strategy Analytics says this marked the first time that Apple had ever shipped more handsets over a quarter than rival Samsung (005930), which shipped 16.8 million handsets over the holiday quarter, or 32.3% of the American handset market. Over the span of the whole year, however, Samsung still shipped the most total handsets with its 53 million units shipped easily besting Apple’s 43.7 million units.