The iPhone Can’t Stop Growing!

Reports of falling iPhone sales may have hurt the company’s share price earlier this year, but according to a new report, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) continues to be the top U.S. smartphone manufacturer. The iPhone maker kept up its lead over Samsung (SSNLF.PK) in the fourth quarter of last year, in fact growing its share to 36.3 percent from 34.3 percent at the end of the September quarter, comScore said. Samsung also grew, moving up to 21 percent from 18.7 percent in the previous quarter.

Both HTC and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) unit Motorola, in third and fourth spots, respectively, saw their market shares decline. HTC fell from a 12 percent share in September to 10.2 percent, while Motorola edged down from 9.8 percent to 9.1 percent. LG, in fifth place, moved up from 6.6 percent to 7.1 percent.

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Last week, a separate report from Strategy Analytics had found that Apple was now also the top mobile phone seller by volume in the U.S. for the first time in its history. It edged Samsung with a 34 percent share to 32.3 percent for the Korean company.

Meanwhile, Google’s Android continued its own hold on the smartphone operating system portion of the market. Android claimed 53.4 percent of the U.S. market, with Apple’s iOS in second place at 36.3 percent. Apple did grow its share since September, edging 2 percentage points up.

Android also moved up, but by a slightly smaller 0.9 percentage points. BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) was third with 6.4 percent, and Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone and Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) Symbian followed with 2.9 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

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BlackBerry saw the biggest drop, falling from 8.4 percent at the end of September. The company, which recently changed its name from Research in Motion, released its new Z10 last week.

According to the data, 125.9 million people in the country now own a smartphone, making up 54 percent of the total mobile handset market.

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