How about them apples? Apple is now the number 1 mobile phone vendor in the US, with a record of 34% market share. Annual growth of 4% in mobile phone shipments was made from 50.2 million in Q4 2011 to 52 million in Q4 2012 (in the United States), driven by the consumer demand for 4G smartphones and 3G feature phones. Apple shipped 17.7 million mobile phones for a record 34% share of the US market in the Q4 2012. This was up sharply from 12.8 million units shipped and 25% share in Q4 2011.
Although Samsung’s market share rose 5%, from 27% a year earlier, it was not enough to hold off a surging Apple. Samsung shipped 16.8 million mobile phones in the United States, for 32 percent share, during Q4 2012, and they had been the number one mobile phone vendor in the US since 2008, and it will surely be keen to recapture that title in 2013 by launching improved new models such as the rumored Galaxy S4.
LG is still the third largest player in the American mobile phone market. We estimate LG shipped 4.7 million mobile phones for 9% share of the United States market in Q4 2012, dipping from 6.9 million units and 14% share in 2011.
In 2012, LG struggled to compete with an Apple and Samsung onslaught in the high-growth smartphone sub-category, but LG will be aiming to fight back this year with new and improved models like the Optimus G 4G LTE with Android.
It seems that the success of Apple has been driven by its popular ecosystem of:
- the App Store and iPhones/iPads;
- generous carrier subsidies; and
- extensive marketing around the new iPhone 5 model.
What do you think?