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Summary:

A new study shows that Apple’s smartphone market share in the US grew to 42% in Q4, maintaining a significant lead over Samsung’s 26% share.

Apple Samsung NPD
photo: NPD Group

Two new iPhones didn’t result in Apple doubling its market share in 2013, but they did help it gain a 7 percent increase over the year prior. According to the latest numbers from research firm NPD Group, Apple’s smartphone market share in the U.S. grew to 42 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, a sizable lead over competitor Samsung and its 26 percent market share.

To come up with these numbers, NPD surveyed about 5,000 users. That means these numbers are more indicative of overall trends then they are representative of cold, hard fact. But they do match up pretty closely with recent data from comScore.

Apple Samsung NPD

As you can see, Apple managed to maintain its lead over Samsung from 2012, though Samsung’s market share grew over that time as well. For this to happen, though, it means other manufacturers had to experience a market share decline.

It’s interesting to see which shares dropped over this period, including Motorola, HTC and BlackBerry. I’m not surprised to see the sharp declines in HTC or BlackBerry, given the many issues those companies have recently faced. But it’s interesting that Motorola dropped about 5 percent, given the high-profile launch the recent Moto X. LG, on the other hand, experienced a slight gain, perhaps due to its flagship G2 handset.

  1. Google and Motorola can launch anything they want but that doesn’t mean consumers are going to buy those products. The Moto X seems like a nice, solid product but it’s still just a middle-tier smartphone with lots of cosmetic customizations available. I think the best features it had was it’s low-power consumption and touch-less control.

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  2. Actually this doesn’t necessarily bode poorly for Motorola. The data is not based on new phone sales in 4Q13. It’s total market share. Since Moto X only launched in Q3 and didn’t really get going with customizations and price drops until Q4 as well as Moto G not arriving until Q1, I think the market share decline is more related to Motorola’s previous phone line vs. their newer products.

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  3. The NPD report is about the current US installed base of smartphones by brand. this is not to be confused with market share which is a measure of unit sales for a given period.

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