Is Apple Truly Number One?

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may not be done fighting for primacy just yet, as the company took first place in an analysis of sales by brand covering the three months from December to February, according to a report by ComScore. But the results beg a question: could it have simply been lucky timing?

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Apple’s iPhones were the most popular smartphones in the U.S. market for the period, topping the success of devices from Samsung (SSNLF.PK), HTC, Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Motorola, and LGĀ (LGEAF.PK). The company snagged a 38.9 percent share of the market in the 3-month period, which actually brought it up from the 35 percent share recorded in the three months prior.

Of the top 5 brands, Apple wasn’t the only one to climb up, but it was the highest climber. Samsung also raised its share from 20.3 percent in the previous period to 21.3 percent. In comparison, the other three companies in the top 5 all saw a decline in their market share, totaling a 3 percent decline.

It’s possible that Apple might have lucked out based on timing, as HTC, Samsung, and even BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) had devices planned for released in the current 3-month period, which may have lead consumers to hold off on buying devices from those brands. New product launches from those brands could boost their market share for the current period…

However, even new devices don’t seem like they would fully sway the difference between Apple and the other companies; Apple has more than a 17 percent lead on Samsung and more than a 29 percent lead on any other company.

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Apple’s growth is matched by a slight drops in the market shares held by the operating systems of Google and BlackBerry, which both dropped by about 2 percent. This suggests Apple can continue hanging on strong in the U.S. in the face of Android-powered competition, especially considering Apple was among the companies that didn’t have any new smartphones launched in the three-month period.

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