Apple Becomes Top US Mobile Phone Vendor With a 34% Market Share

In the battle for market share, Apple has surpassed Samsung, its biggest competitor in the US, driven by strong iPhone 5 sales in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the latest data from Strategy Analytics (Via The Next Web).

Mobile phone shipments reached 52 million units during the last 13 weeks of last year, growing about 4% on a year-over-year basis, but Apple’s growth was unbreakable – it captured a record 34% of the US smartphone market.

Strategy Analytics estimates that of the 52 million units, Apple has sold 17.7 million iPhones, up from 12.8 million recorded in Q4 of 2011; while Samsung, which reported a record holiday quarter, fell behind by shipping only 16.8 million during the same period, up from 13.5 million a year ago.

“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,” said Neil Mawston, the firm’s Executive Director.

LG grabbed third position with 4.7 million handsets sold, down nearly 7% on a year-over-year basis and losing 4.7% market share compared to the same period a year ago.

Yet when looking back to the whole year, Samsung did take the crown with an estimated 53 million handsets compared to Apple’s 43.7 million.

Considering earlier reports from Kantar WordPanel ComTech, Apple’s leading position was pretty obvious, as their 12-week study analyzing smartphone sales in the holiday quarter has shown the iPhone on top of other devices in the US.