NEW YORK (AP) — The launch of the iPhone 5 and the declining popularity of non-smartphones have made Apple the biggest seller of phones in the U.S. for the first time, research firm Strategy Analytics said Friday.
The firm estimates that Apple shipped 17.7 million iPhones of all kinds to U.S. buyers in the October to December period, meaning it accounted for one in three new phones.
Samsung Electronics of Korea was close behind, shipping 16.8 million phones, including non-smart ones. Samsung has been the largest seller of phones to the U.S. market since 2008, Strategy Analytics said.
NPD Group, another research firm, found that Samsung phones still outsold the iPhone in the quarter, by 31 percent to 29 percent. It tracks retails sales while Strategy Analytics tracks shipments, so the numbers are not directly comparable.
Worldwide, it's clear that Samsung is still the biggest phone vendor with 23 percent of the market, according to a third research firm, IDC. Apple is number three, with 9.9 percent of the market. In between sits Nokia with 17.9 percent.