Apple Beats Samsung, Wins Q4 2012 Race for Top Spot in US Markets

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Apple appeared to have partially regained its winning form as it took pole position in US markets for the last 3 months of 2012. It marked the first time that the Cupertino-based company ended on top in its head-to-head clash with Korean electronics giant Samsung. This was one of the major findings cited in the latest market report released by Strategy Analytics. These findings run parallel to salient points cited in an earlier report submitted by NPD, which also tagged Apple as the top seller in the US market for smartphones for the 4th quarter of 2012.

According to the report submitted by Strategic Analytics, Apple ended Q4 of 2012 with a 34-percent market share. It had a 26-percent market share in the 3rd quarter of the same year and this major push was enough to overhaul the earlier edge of Samsung. The increase in market share corresponds to a 38-percent growth in sales compared to the same period of the preceding year. Apple’s total sales for the 4th quarter of 2012 amounted to 17.7 million.

This major reversal during the final 3 months of the previous year was not enough to overhaul the pecking order among the major players in the industry. Samsung, which saw its market share grow to 32.3 percent, remains at the helm for 2012. Apple ended 2012 with a 26.2-percent market share, while Samsung closed out the year with a 31.8-percent market share.

However, this is still a welcome development for Apple and it comes at a time when the company’s capacity to sustain its winning streak for its premium-priced products is shrouded by a cloud of doubt. Apple has been lagging behind in Chinese markets and other emerging markets, particularly in Asia. According to a recently released NPD report, the company has been beaten to the draw by Samsung, Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE and China Wireless Technologies.

The impressive performance in the 4th quarter of 2012 by Apple is largely attributed to the consistent numbers by its iPhone devices and its App Store, which are the main income streams for the company. The impressive 4th-quarter push was also due to the aggressive marketing campaign by the company for its iPhone 5, which is topped by freebies and discounted offers for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S and sizable subsidies by mobile carriers.

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