Apple (AAPL) Achieves Best Selling U.S. Handset Brand in Q4, BofA Close to Mortgage Foreclosure Settlement

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL): VentureBeat has learned that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has hired Simon Prakash, who worked at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) for over eight years and was most recently the senior director of product integrity. Prakash will be working for Google on a secret project, possibly run by Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

Also, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) leaped past Samsung and LG to become the best-selling U.S. handset brand in the fourth quarter of 2011, said NPD Group, a research firm. In a quarter that featured the launch of the iPhone 4S and the addition of Sprint (NYSE:S), Apple’s three available models combined to capture 43% of the U.S. smartphone market in Q4, NPD added. However, Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system maintained a 48%-43% over Apple among U.S. smartphone buyers, and among the first-time smartphone buyers in Q4, 57% purchased Android phones compared to just 34% who purchased iPhones, the firm added.

Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC): California is close to agreeing to the main points of a settlement reached by the Obama administration with the nation’s banks over improper mortgage foreclosure procedures, The New York Times reported yesterday. New York’s attorney general indicated that he has moved closer to signing off on the deal, the newspaper added. Shares of Bank of America Corporation are trading 0.13% higher today.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com