Apple has overtaken Samsung to become the largest mobile phone vendor in the United States for the first time. The Cupertino company captured a record 34% market share during the fourth quarter of 2012 with around 17.7 million devices sold, while Samsung captured 32% with around 16.8 million devices sold.
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Samsung and Apple are the only two smartphone vendors currently seeing growth in the United States, and although it was Apple that saw the most between September and November of last year, it’s Samsung who will attract most customers throughout 2013. The Korean electronics giant will see 35% growth over the next 12 months, according to Strategy Analytics, further increasing the lead over its arch rival in Cupertino.
New numbers show Android-based tablets are gaining on the reigning champ, Apple’s iPad. Although Android owns 39 percent of the tablet market, some question whether there’s a ringer: Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The device is the first non-Apple tablet to lay a hand on the iPad, but uses a highly-customized version of Google’s mobile operating system. How much of Android’s gains are due to its barely-recognizable distant cousin, twice removed?
Before the iPad debuted, the tablet market was basically limited to niche convertible laptops with stylus-driven displays largely marketed to digital artists. The iPad changed everything: it placed the tablet as a bridge device between a phone and a laptop and made it less about the creation of a few specific types of digital media than a gadget aimed at the consumption of digital media.
It was a genius redefinition of a product class, and Apple’s basically dominated the tablet market ever since it was released. You might be surprised by how utterly complete the iPad’s domination of the tablet market is, though: according to statistics released by Strategy Analytics, the iPad accounts for 95.5% of all tablet sales.
That number’s going to go down, of course. The iPad basically caught gadget makers with their pants down, and we’re only just staring to see devices like the Galaxy Tab and the upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook creep out of electronic makers’ design factories to challenge the iPad’s crown. Apple’s percentage of the tablet market is largely due to the fact that there just aren’t any good tablets out there besides the iPad.
So that number’s going to go down, but by guess, with that sort of head start? Apple’s still going to sell more than half of all tablets made for at least the next couple of years.