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Apple remains top U.S. smartphone vendor

Dan Graziano
May 3rd, 2012 at 7:45 AM

The NPD Group on Wednesday released the results of its monthly Mobile Phone Track service, and determined Apple was the top-selling smartphone vendor in the United States. The Cupertino-based company’s market share increased by 7% in the first quarter year-over-year and totaled 29% of all U.S. smartphones. Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone and overall mobile phone vendor, followed closely on Apple’s heels and saw tremendous growth of 140% to grab a 24% share of the market. During the same period, LG, HTC, Motorola and RIM all saw their shares drop.

“Samsung is the only market leader from the feature phone era to transition to market leadership in the smartphone era in the U.S.,” said NPD analyst Ross Rubin. “Its broad carrier support and advertising – particularly in the ascendant pre-paid segment – have helped it achieve the highest market share among Android handset providers in the U.S.”

The research firm found Google’s Android operating system was the top-selling mobile platform and regained some of the ground it lost to Apple in previous quarters. Sales of new Android smartphones grew 24% over the prior quarter to reach 61% of the market. Apple iPhone sales slid from a high of 41% to 29%, representing a quarter-over-quarter decline of 29%. Despite the loss of market share, Apple’s devices — the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS — held onto the top three spots in NPD’s overall handset ranking for first quarter of 2012, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC EVO 3D.

“After some release of pent-up demand from customers adopting the iPhone 4S, coupled with the company’s strength in the holiday season, Apple’s share fell in the first quarter, as we’ve often see it do in the quarter following its introduction of a new handset,” Rubin said. “Now that the iPhone is available on Sprint, though, the increased carrier coverage has created a higher baseline for Apple’s share than we have seen in the past.”

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