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Galaxy S4 helped Samsung outsell Apple for the first time since iPhone 5 debut

Updated Jun 5th, 2013 3:19PM EDT
Galaxy S4 Sales

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The arrival of the Galaxy S4 helped Samsung outsell Apple in the U.S. for the first time since the iPhone 5 launched more than eight months ago. Michael Walkley of Canaccord Genuity notes that Samsung’s flagship device was the top-selling smartphone in May on Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, and second best-selling handset on AT&T, behind the iPhone 5. The Galaxy S4 wasn’t the only reason Samsung outsold its rivals, however. Lower prices for the Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III gave Samsung the extra boost it needed to become the top-selling vendor in the U.S. last month.

UPDATE: Walkley confirmed to The New York Times that his checks do not include Apple Stores, where a large portion of iPhone sales take place. As such, the data in this report does not paint an accurate picture of U.S. smartphone sales.

It is estimated that Samsung spent a combined $9.3 billion on marketing, advertising and other promotional activities in 2012, and roughly $2.5 billion on sales and marketing in the first quarter of 2013. Walkley believes that the company’s marketing efforts have paid off.

“We believe dominant sales of the S4 versus other Android smartphones was driven by Samsung’s extremely strong Galaxy consumer brand and well-executed marketing campaign, as our surveys indicated store representatives often recommended the HTC One ahead of the Galaxy S4,” the analyst wrote in a recent research note picked up by Business Insider.

Walkley added that despite positive reviews of the HTC One, Samsung’s closest Android competitor doesn’t have “the brand, distribution, and marketing budget to drive even stronger sales.”

According to recent data from research firm comScore, Apple was the top-selling smartphone vendor in the U.S. at the end of April. The company was found to have a 39.2% share of the market, ahead of Samsung’s 22% share. It should be noted, however, that this data was gathered before the launch of the Galaxy S4.

Dan joins the BGR team as the Android Editor, covering all things relating to Google’s premiere operating system. His work has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business and Yahoo News, among other publications. When he isn’t testing the latest devices or apps, he can be found enjoying the sights and sounds of New York City.