Apple stays U.S. smartphone market leader, sees more growth than Samsung

There's no doubt that the Android mobile operating system has seen immense global success and is currently still the most popular smartphone OS on the planet. However, when switching from software to hardware, there's an entirely different story with market share. Despite iOS staying at a firm number two, in the U.S. Apple continues to dominate the market among other vendors. In fact from Q4 2012 to Q4 2013, its share grew 7 percent to 42 percent total.

Samsung, being the top manufacturer of Android phones, has actually seen slowed growth in America. It grew to 26 percent market share from the year-ago quarter. While growth is by no means a bad thing, the fact that Samsung couldn't match Apple's growth puts it in a worse position than it was in before.

In addition to the lack of momentum in the U.S., Samsung also dropped to number two in smartphone market share in China, where Xiaomi now dominates. It'll be interesting to see how 2014 turns out for Samsung and whether Q4 2013 foreshadowed what's to come for the popular phone manufacturer, or if it was simply just a small misstep.

The only other vendor to see (a small amount of) growth in its U.S. market share was LG, while Motorola, Blackberry, HTC, and the aggregated "Other" all now have an even smaller slice of the pie.

Source: TechCrunch | Image via Apple

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31 Comments

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The US is about the only market the iPhone is strong. Anywhere else they are a distant second and increasingly so third. I'll give em about three more years before they start falling fast.

even samsung fans or anyone with understanding of technology admits apple makes the best hardware. there is no doubt. I bet thats why they are successful. but they also have to understand what people use the most is the software. apps are cool but would not replace OS feature and capabilities that competitor OSes brings to the table.

If Apple sold a cheap phone like the Nokia 520, they would dominate many more countries. A cheap iPhone would be Microsofts worst nightmare. The latest and greatest specs don't sell phones, it's the whole ecosystem that drives its success.

JHBrown said,
If Apple sold a cheap phone like the Nokia 520, they would dominate many more countries. A cheap iPhone would be Microsofts worst nightmare. The latest and greatest specs don't sell phones, it's the whole ecosystem that drives its success.

absolutely... the IOS experience is what people are paying for.

The experience where you cannot choose a different keyboard? Without something like Swiftkey, a phone becomes a lot less useful. Apple's keyboard is the worst of all. It even always shows capitals, even when typing lowercase.

For the keyboard alone, I would rather use an old HTC Windows mobile phone than an Apple.

Where is your file manager? Without something like Total Commander, you lose access to your phone. The list goes on and on for things that I would miss if I had to use an iPhone.

Then Why do people buy the i-thingy? People want to be seen using what everybody else use so that they do not feel out. People also do not want to fiddle too much with a phone and Apple gives them an easy to use phone out of the box, that I'll give, like the old Nokia's.

People generally are not very tech savvy and therefore like something simple. With Android there are too many options, and with options comes risk. People do not like risk. Funny enough though that the army or government gave Android the thumbs up for security, but not for Apple. I read that somewhere.

Will Apple keep on selling phones? For sure, it is like a drug to some people. It has become a cult thing. You will probably respond emotionally and get angry at me and even fling a few insults. An emotional response proves my point. It has become a religion. (now maybe you'll try not to react emotionally)

I might think of using another platform if it is better. Will you? Probably not.

In the end your phone must work for you. If it does, good for you. You just paid quite a bit much for it. But I suppose money is not an issue for you.

Johan Steyn said,
The experience where you cannot choose a different keyboard? Without something like Swiftkey, a phone becomes a lot less useful. Apple's keyboard is the worst of all. It even always shows capitals, even when typing lowercase.

For the keyboard alone, I would rather use an old HTC Windows mobile phone than an Apple.

Where is your file manager? Without something like Total Commander, you lose access to your phone. The list goes on and on for things that I would miss if I had to use an iPhone.

Then Why do people buy the i-thingy? People want to be seen using what everybody else use so that they do not feel out. People also do not want to fiddle too much with a phone and Apple gives them an easy to use phone out of the box, that I'll give, like the old Nokia's.

People generally are not very tech savvy and therefore like something simple. With Android there are too many options, and with options comes risk. People do not like risk. Funny enough though that the army or government gave Android the thumbs up for security, but not for Apple. I read that somewhere.

Will Apple keep on selling phones? For sure, it is like a drug to some people. It has become a cult thing. You will probably respond emotionally and get angry at me and even fling a few insults. An emotional response proves my point. It has become a religion. (now maybe you'll try not to react emotionally)

I might think of using another platform if it is better. Will you? Probably not.

In the end your phone must work for you. If it does, good for you. You just paid quite a bit much for it. But I suppose money is not an issue for you.

Johan, everything you mentioned does not bother your average iPhone user. My grandmother and parents use the iPhone because it is simple to use and they can get tech support by just walking into the nearest Apple store. It has the Apps they need to check their bank accounts and communicate with family members with FaceTime. I hate to say it yet again, but the iPhone just works for most people. Since I'm a techie kind of guy, I use a Galaxy Note 3 as a secondary device. When I want simplicity, I switch back to my iPhone.

any of you guys remember those couple regular posters guys that were here saying Apple would be bankrupt by last year? Bog.. or Bo... boss? or something like that.... they said it consistently and were 100% convinced they were correct, guess they not here anymore?

It makes sense that Apple would do well in their home market. They definitely make some great hardware. As for their software, it's heading in the right direction with iOS 7. It actually looks aesthetically-pleasing, for one. I absolutely hated the way iOS 6 looked. It had a lot of unnecessary chrome like bubble effects and skeuomorphism.

Aren't American retailers and providers interested in diversity? I would watch out for one dominant player. Apple is getting a too dominant position, which is not good for them, Normally the free market system allows players to correct this. With retailers or providers supporting underdogs. This is how WP is quickly gaining marketshare in Europe.

EDIT: I also try to imagine what the average classroom would look like with 4/10 of the students having the same phone,

Honestly, most people really don't care as much as others seem to think they do. They want something that looks nice and is easy to use. Apple also has a lot of accessories which you can find at many retail store, if not online. On that end of it, that's where they're easy to sell. For others who are more price conscious or maybe just looking at specific features, Android and Windows Phone can do pretty much the same things for a better price.

Really comes down to what the customer wants, and as much of a nerd as I am, who am I to tell someone they're wrong for buying something they like? It's not my money...

Why would it matter if 4/10 people had the same phone? It's just a phone...
It doesn't work any worse if more than one person has it.

The only people that care about non-conformity are the hippies.

dead.cell said,
Honestly, most people really don't care as much as others seem to think they do.

Apparantly not and thats ok. They should get whatever phone they want. But as a retailer or provider I would try to make sure they want different kind of phones. By simply putting different phones in the spotlight. Like you said, people dont care.

Astra.Xtreme said,
Why would it matter if 4/10 people had the same phone? It's just a phone...
It doesn't work any worse if more than one person has it.

The only people that care about non-conformity are the hippies.

Just seems boring to me, that's all. It's very different from what I'm used to seeing.

Northgrove said,

I don't really think it indicates dominance.

I would be worried if one of the phones I sell is sold to 4/10 of the customers and it looking to go to 5/10. Apple is both he hardware and the software. It would make my revenue depend on Apple for 50%. Basically Apple can then tell me how I should arrange me store, at what price I should sell, etc. If I don't agree Apple could terminate our contract and I would go bankrupt.

Ronnet said,

Just seems boring to me, that's all. It's very different from what I'm used to seeing.

Phones aren't meant to be exciting or look like art. They're made to make our lives easier.

I'd take the ugliest phone with the best OS over the prettiest phone with the worst OS.

Astra.Xtreme said,

Phones aren't meant to be exciting or look like art. They're made to make our lives easier.

I'd take the ugliest phone with the best OS over the prettiest phone with the worst OS.

Uhm.. what are you talking about? I said it was boring if everyone had the same phone. I'm not taklking about one phone being better looking than another. Let alone comparing their operating systems...

Ronnet said,

Uhm.. what are you talking about? I said it was boring if everyone had the same phone. I'm not taklking about one phone being better looking than another. Let alone comparing their operating systems...

Okay? What do you mean by boring then? The only thing I could imagine being boring is how it looks, and that includes cosmetics and the OS design, as I stated.

Astra.Xtreme said,

Okay? What do you mean by boring then? The only thing I could imagine being boring is how it looks, and that includes cosmetics and the OS design, as I stated.

A group of people all having the same phone. Whether they all have Galaxy S4's or iPhone 5's isn't relevant. Just the idea of seeing so many people with the same phone, 4/10 and growing. It's not something I'm used to seeing. But this was but a minor comment. It wasn't the message of my original post.

inb4 holding it wrong, give them a break, and hurr durr apple still sucks even though I don't use their products!

There. Now maybe we can excuse the superiority complex we seem to have about the products we use and can have a real discussion about growth. Or maybe this article won't get comments since I've already predetermined half of what will be said here.

CSheep said,
Clearly Americans are a bunch of sheep...

just because you use an Android-run device doesn't mean you are a sheep, just means you don't have much to choose from