By Brett Molina
Apple outdueled Samsung on mobile phone shipments in the U.S. during the fourth quarter, according to research from firm Strategic Analytics. It's the first time the company has ever claimed the top spot in mobile shipments.
Overall, 52 million mobile phones were shipped, a 4% jump from last year. Apple snagged a 34% market share, shipping 17.7 million phones. The maker of the iPhone held a 25% during the same time last year.
"Apple's success has been driven by its popular ecosystem of iPhones and App Store, generous carrier subsidies, and extensive marketing around the new iPhone 5 model," says Strategic Analytics executive director Neil Mawston in a statement. Along with the iPhone 5, Apple offers discounted or free versions of its iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 models.
Chief rival Samsung sits in second place, shipping 16.8 million phones for 32% market share. Samsung had retained the top spot in consecutive quarters dating back to 2008.
LG sits at a distance third place with a 9% share of the smartphone market.
Apple also finds itself topping U.S. consumer sales, says new data from NPD Group. However, Samsung is quickly gaining thanks to sales of its Galaxy smartphone line, notching a 117% increase in unit-sales volume.
Apple captured 39% of the smartphone sales market, down 2% from 2011. Meanwhile, Samsung surged from a 21% share two years ago to 30% in 2012.
NPD says the iPhone 5 accounted for 43% of all iPhone sales during the quarter, as well as almost two-thirds of all post-paid phone sales above $199.