Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) overtook Samsung as the top smartphone seller in September in the U.S. The iPhone 5S led the way, pushing Apple’s share of September smartphone sales up to 39%, according to the latest data from Counterpoint Research.
Apple’s share more than doubled
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) has been the top smartphone seller in the U.S. since May after the launch of the Galaxy S4. The Korean handset maker’s share has been hovering in the 30 percentile since then, hitting 36% in July and 37% in August. In September, however, Samsung’s sales share in the U.S. dropped to 29%.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s sales share had been falling steadily since April, dropping to 22 percent in July and then dipping down to 17 percent in August. In September, however, the company’s share of U.S. smartphone sales surged to 39%. Apple also had 34% of overall mobile phone sales, including both smartphones and feature phones.
These numbers could lead to a reversal in the fourth quarter of the year, with Apple leading Samsung. Samsung led Apple in U.S. smartphone sales during the entire third quarter.
iPhone 5S became the best-selling smartphone in the U.S.
Even though Apple’s iPhone 5S only went on sale in Sept. 20, it managed to become the top selling smartphone in the U.S. for September. The handset pushed Samsung’s Galaxy S4 down into second place. Apple’s iPhone 5C managed to grab the third-place position on the list.
Thanks to the success of the iPhone 5S, Counterpoint also notes that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) captured 90% of smartphone sales in the $500 and up ultra-premium category.
How Samsung could overtake Apple again
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) continued to perform strongly in the $400 to $500 price point, holding over 50% of the sales in that segment. The fact that Samsung held this segment of the market contributed heavily to its position within the overall mobile phone market. The Korean company captured 32% of all mobile phone sales in the U.S., including both smartphones and feature phones.
According to Counterpoint, Samsung could overtake Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) if it can create a winning handset in the $500 and over price point. The firm said the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear could help the company and that the Note 3 “is showing good early traction.” It also noted that since Apple doesn’t have a larger-screened handset, Samsung could gain on Apple’s position in this segment.
Other players in the handset industry
LG Electronics Inc (KRX:066570) retained its position in third place for U.S. smartphone sales, although it dipped during the month of September, falling below 10%. The firm reported that Motorola, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) and HTC Corp (TPE:2498) continue to battle for fourth place, with Motorola edging out the other two in September, probably thanks to the launch of the Moto X, the first handset released by Motorola while under Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s ownership.