NPD Group: Apple Maintained Domestic Smartphone Sales Lead Last Year


Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) continued its dominance of the U.S. smartphone market in 2013, according to the latest data from market research company NPD Group. Per Mobile Phone Track data obtained by Apple Insider, Apple’s iPhones accounted for 45 percent of total smartphones sales in the domestic market last year. Compared to 2012, overall U.S. smartphone sales in 2013 grew 21 percent to 121 million units.

Apple maintained its majority share of the market after increasing from 44 percent in 2012 to 45 percent last year. Meanwhile, Samsung (SSNLF.PK) kept its second-place ranking after increasing its market share from 24 percent in 2012 to 26 percent in 2013. LG followed Samsung in a distant third place, with 8 percent of the U.S. market in 2013, up from 5 percent in 2012. HTC took fourth place in 2013 with a 6 percent share, down from 10 percent in 2012. Similarly, recently acquired Lenovo subsidiary Motorola saw its market share slip from 7 percent in 2012 to 4 percent in 2013.

According to NPD Group’s Mobile Phone Track data seen by Apple Insider, iPhone sales among customers who earn less than $30,000 a year grew by 64 percent last year to reach 20 percent of Apple’s total sales. However, Apple still sold the majority of its devices to higher-income customers. For example, Apple held a 33 percent share of the market among smartphone customers that make more than $100,000 a year. Meanwhile, Samsung took a 35 percent share of the under $30,000 market segment and only an 18 percent share of the above $100,000 income segment.

“With the fastest growing segments of the industry in the lowest income demographics, both Apple and Samsung face challenges in 2014,” said NPD Group vice president of industry analysis Stephen Baker, according to Apple Insider. “For Samsung this demographic is likely to be the most competitive segment of the market in 2014 and they have a very high dependency on sales here. Apple has the opposite problem of gaining share in the fast growing entry-level market while still maintaining its position as the dominant supplier to affluent consumers.”

Sales of prepaid mobile phones grew 68 percent in 2013 to account for 29 percent of the U.S. market last year. On the other hand, sales of postpaid devices grew by less than 10 percent last year. Despite the lower rate of growth, postpaid devices still accounted for the majority of smartphone sales in the U.S. last year with a 71 percent market share.

“In general, 2013 was a year of smartphone market stability for the U.S.,” said Baker, per Apple Insider. “Overall industry growth was similar to that of 2012, and while the major hardware brands saw their shares increase marginally, the space between Apple and Samsung and the rest of the industry expanded once again.” According to NPD Group, Apple and Samsung combined accounted for 71 percent of the smartphone sales in the U.S. market in 2013.

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