Samsung overtakes Apple to become the best-selling phone maker in the US

Samsung overtakes Apple to become the best-selling phone maker in the US
The world's most popular mobile OS is Android, and Samsung is its prophet - so would begin the recap of our smartphone industry times a few decades from now. We kid, but Samsung is indeed selling more than anyone else in the Android world - out of roughly 257 millions sold with Google's mobile OS last quarter, Samsung accounted for about 82 million.

Be that as it may, have you wondered which markets are contributing most to Samsung's popularity and share of the market pie? Well, it turns out that these are none other than the good ol' USA, as well as the home turf of Southeast Asia - a real shocker. The US is Apple's homeland, so in Q3 of last year the iPhones dominated, as that was the first quarter of the new models release. Between March and May this year, however, the tide had turned, and it is Samsung going for the gold with the fresh Galaxy S6/S6 edge duo leading the way. 

Mid-period, in April, the iPhone 6 was still the most popular handset in the U.S, followed by the inertia of the S5. In May, however, the S6 stepped on the throttle, and delivered a first place to Samsung for the period, according to data from research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, released yesterday. Samsung's next stronghold is Southeast Asia, where it sold 5.5 million phones in the first quarter.

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65 Comments

1. 99nights

Posts: 1152; Member since: Mar 10, 2015

Never thought I'd see the day.

8. cdm283813

Posts: 424; Member since: Jan 10, 2015

Ounce for ounce the S6 is a better phone at the same cost. My only issue with Samsung is it's update policy. Not only does my Note 4 gets pushed back to the end of the line but we also get the same crappie touchwiz iteration. That's the one thing Apple does right. All devices get bumped up to the same version on the same day and I respect that. It's the reason why I bought a iPad Air 2 a few months ago because I know it will be supported for 3 maybe 4 more years. And recently I was shopping for a smaller phone and noticed that a iPhone 5s from 2013 greatly holds it value to the majority of android devices. The only other phone that impressed me resale value wise would have to be the Nexus 5 and the one plus one. Anything from Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG are only worth a third of the original cost after 18 months.

17. bambamboogy02

Posts: 838; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

When Apple sells the same device, in different sizes, Iphone is a smaller Ipad, or vise versa, Ipad is a bigger Iphone, meaning all of their devices are practically the same. It's easier to update them all. If all Manufacturers adopted this principle of devices for their Tablets and phones, running close to the same Processors and display resolutions, it would be easier and not so fragmented as it is today with Android. ( I do love Android) I am not bashing Android, but it is what it is.

22. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

Yes then again every android is different, note is different from S series, touchwiz is different from stock, that's important, everything for everyone, you have choice to get what you like, not just the screen size.

27. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

But can putting a custom skin really be that hard for the Android manufacturers? Isn't Google the one doing all the heavy lifting?

61. tedkord

Posts: 17365; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Depends on the skin. Motorola, which is barely modified, is easy. TouchWiz, which is modified down to the framework, it's difficult and will take time.

44. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Android isn't fragmented. I like that Google doesn't try to shoehorn a version of an OS that makes your device run like crap, so that you go and buy the latest device. You need to consider that even a 3 year old Android that wont or can't be upgraded. like the GS3 for example, out the box still does more than an iPhone 6 which was just release months ago. You dont need to have the latest OS, unless you phone has the bells and whistles to make it worth it. If I had a GS3 right now, which I gave to my mom, I'd be happy knowing that for 3 years I wouldnt have needed to buy a phone and it would still be on par which the most popular phone sold. Android is fine as is. The problem is Apple/Jobs/Schiller/Ivy have basically polluted peoples minds into thinking Android is somehow not as advanced as iOS, yet a 3 year old Android phone is more advanced in features and capabilities than a brand new iPhone. The GS3 doesnt need Lollipop to be better than the iPhone 6. It already is better than the iPhone.6. Bigger longer lasting battery, same size display, but a better display, better CPU as faor as power and efficiency even with quadcores and full of awesome features like Smart Stay.

31. engineer-1701d unregistered

you know this will not change for at least 5 years so why bother crying about it, the carriers have the updates pushed when they have checked them out with each of their own software, soon samsung will tell carriers we do the push not you, but that still shows samsung has 45 models all different so each have to be done by a team.

42. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Having the same version number, but not all the same features means nothing. I can still go an buy a 3 year old Samsung Galaxy and it will still offer more than today's iPhone 6. Case in point. The Galaxy S3 is now 3 years old. 720p vs 750p is basically the same. The GS3 has 1.4Ghz Quad, while the iPhone is 1.4Ghz Dual, both have 1GB RAM and the S3 has a larger battery at 2100 vs 1800. The iPhone st this point is beyond a joke. For Apple to set a high bar and than 2 years later fall from grace is unprecedented and stupid. The S6 runs circles around every phone right now and in all honesty when they pit the S6 against the iPhone 6S models, Apple will still be behind. The S7 is going to be the nail in the coffin. All Samsung has to do is beef up the GPU bump the display to 4K and keep the same efficiency and make the device even faster and the iPhone will be a relic.

19. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I do believe its happened before. I just wanna grab some popcorn... Some have said its a cycle with Apple and Samsung now.

29. waddup121 unregistered

Those adverts really payed off, right?

47. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Adverts really do pay off in the long run... Just look at what Apple has been able to accomplish. Marketing is the #1 reason for business success/failure.

60. AnTuTu

Posts: 1613; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

Go hard Sammy. Proud to be a Samsung fan. One more thing, never stop innovating.

2. coldspring22

Posts: 349; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Market share for Samsung doesn't matter. Real question is whether android will keep grabbing market share from Apple. Iphone market share is sinking in US now that carrier subsidy is gone.

18. Cheezwiz

Posts: 500; Member since: Dec 29, 2014

In regard to carrier subsidies, they are alive and well and still the most common means of purchasing a cell phone in the US. It's slowly changing but not at the rate that you might think it is.

53. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I dont think it will. Its already 80% worldwide with Apple having most of what is left except for 3% which is everyone else combine. Android is Windows for the mobile, I dont see any SO coming to even be a threat. Android already offers the needed open platform that no other OS could offer anything better, just like how Windows is. Windows is king not because its installed on 1.3BN computers or because of the Enterprise. Its because out of all the OS' available, none are as open, as flexible or as easy to program for in a short time. Linux is free but it doesn't offer equal flex as Windows and nor does OS X. The only thing that will kill Windows and Android is time. Time where devices will finally evolve past the capabilities that Windows or Android can offer and those devices will simply need better and Microsoft and google may not be able to reach that next plateau. Until then there is NONE better. Sure, some are better in some ways, but you have to look at the overall picture. Overall they are the best and will be for a while.

69. coldspring22

Posts: 349; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Windows and Android are not the same. One is proprietary platform wholly controlled by Microsoft, while Android is completely open platform, capable of being understood entirely by anyone, modified by anyone and forked by anyone. Where these two platforms are similar is in collaboration of hundreds of companies manufacturing devices for the platform. But in the end, windows can go up in smoke if Microsoft as a single company makes some bad decisions, while Android as an open platform, is not necessarily tied to fate of Google. Any other company can take up the challenge of creating better Android or cooperating with other companies or parties to further evolve the platform. In this respect, Android is far more versatile and powerful platform than Windows ever was, and it would not be surprising to see Android eventually evolve to incorporate even desktop computing and overthrow Microsoft as well.

3. Neros

Posts: 1016; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

Who would've thought.

9. ViewFromTheTop

Posts: 28; Member since: Sep 08, 2014

You mean who woulda' thunk it.

4. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Another click bait article

5. Japultra

Posts: 133; Member since: May 16, 2014

Actually, it's a pretty significant achievement for Samsung and could be indicative of trends to come, or not. Either way, it's good to note.

16. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Not really, the 6 is months months old, the s6, newer. And with the 6s on its way...people usually slow down the tide when a new model is around the corner.

24. TerryTerius unregistered

Except you're wrong, because that's not what happened. Apple hasn't been the world's largest manufacturer since 2011, it isn't like they and Samsung have been regularly trading places due to release cycles... Which is what you seem to imply. Q4 of last year was the first time they matched/overtook Samsung in 3 years. Unless you were referring to America specifically, in which case you would still be wrong since Apple has always outsold Samsung here. In which case Samsung actually overtaking Apple by volume in the USA would be a first. Apple Q4 (October, November, December) - 74.5 Million Q1 (January, February, March) - 61Million Samsung Q4 (October, November, December) - 74.4 Million Q1 (January, February, March) - 80 Million I severely doubt that all of Samsung's sales came in February and March, which means that Apple's lead only lasted for roughly 3 months. So the argument that, "it's because the 6s is around the corner" makes no sense. This was before the s6 was even announced, and the iP6 was barely 3 months old. I could see your argument if this was q2 or q3. But this was the beginning of the year. But really, this shouldn't be surprising. Apple sells exclusively in the high end which is what made their numbers so astonishing. But because Samsung primarily deals in the low end and mid range, it isn't nearly as difficult for them to hit 80 million phones a month, which they have averaged for over 2 years. Even with increasingly stiff competition from Chinese manufacturers and that lower price range . Apple definitely makes more money, but Samsung sells more. And it is unlikely this is going to dramatically shift, unless Apple comes out with something truly revolutionary or completely breaks with their history and releases a mid-range (or low end) priced phone. By all records, quarter 4 of last year was an anomaly. Not the beginning of a trend.

30. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

This is correct in terms of overall OEM sales. When you have 4 phones vs 20 models...kinda hard to compete in volume. What we could probably note though, is that you will see more iphone 6's on the road than s6's.

38. TerryTerius unregistered

The entire point of the article was volume, not individual Phones. Just saying, relevant to keep that in mind. You're correct, but that is due to many factors, not the least of which being you can only get iOS if you have an Apple device and Apple only has two phones for sale. You don't really have a choice. In other words, Apple has no competition on its own platform and we have no idea what the market would look like if Apple did release midrange and low end affordable phones. I get that's not what they're about and they primarily exist to make as much money as humanly possible. But still, interesting scenario. I guess this isn't really the time for theoretical postulation though, my bad. I'm not making an excuse because what you said it perfectly true. I made that exact point in my earlier comment, that Apple sells more high end devices than anybody. But it's also because Apple doesn't sell anything but high end devices.

39. coldspring22

Posts: 349; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Yes funny thing is that Galaxy S5 was number 2 most popular phone in US, with S6 being number 3. It looks like Galaxy S5 is still flying off the shelves. I guess not everyone is enamored with new Galaxy S6 design. It looks like macro trend is unmistakable. Android and Apple has been contesting leadership in US marketshare for good part of 2013 and 2014. Now Andoroid has taken commanding lead with 65% of market share (even with iphone 6 boost!) and looks to increase it in the future.

50. TerryTerius unregistered

You totally misread that part of the article. Because they never said the S6 was behind the S5 in sales. They said that in mid-april the s5 was the second highest selling phone behind the iPhone 6. The galaxy S6 didn't even go up for sale until the beginning of May. So it wasn't even on the market at that time. Your other statement both is and isn't correct. Apple utterly dominates in the high end price point, there's pretty much no dispute of that. Android moves more units overall, due to more people buying midrange and lower end (priced) devices. There are more total users of Android, and there always will be unless (possibly) if Apple ever decides to release more affordable phones in which case we'd see a true contest. But, every single one of those iPhones they're currently selling carries a price tag starting at $600. Samsung isn't moving anything even close to 80 million high end devices a month, and that is ultimately the difference between Apple and Samsung. Granted, Apple has the inherent strength because they are the only place you can go for iOS and they only have two devices for sale at a time. So comparing Apple to Samsung directly isn't really an easy thing to do for that reason alone.

65. coldspring22

Posts: 349; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

You can't deduce that either. Only thing you can deduce, lacking fine grained number is that S5 out sold S6. As for the macro trend, it's entirely correct. For various reasons, Apple will find it ever more difficult to keep increasing iphone sales in geometric fashion. First of all, there is maturation of smart phone technology, high end smart phones are becoming increasingly comparable to mid range phones and even entry level phones. Extending screen resolution, memory size or cpu cores to infinitum will not deliver tangible added value to the end user. Another reason would be there simply isn't number of people in apple's target demographics for the company to keep increasing iphone sales geometrically. So don't be shocked if iphone sales start falling, not just in percentage of market share, but in actual number of units. It's not that far off.

48. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Dude, it has nothing to do with volume of phone models. if Samsung sold only the Note and the S in the US, they could and would still beat Apple. The article says USA. How many Galaxy models are actually sold in the USA? We have the S, and it carrier variants, we have the Note and a couple cheapos. When has the last time you bought a phone at a carrier? Here let me help you: I am with Veriion: Right now Verizon has 3 model, the S, the Note and Core which just came out recently. I didnt say how many variants, I said 3 family of models. With the S, they are the S6's, they have the S5, the S4 still and then the Note 4 and Note 4 Edge and the Note 3 and the Core. That's it. How many does ATT have? 3 I believe same for T-Mobile and Sprint. In the yes cheap carriers in the USA, may offer a couple others but I am betting Samsung only has many 5 unique USA models. All those other phones they make have nothing to do with this article. Even if Samsung does have 20 unique models, HOW MANY ARE SOLD IN THE USA. You point is stupid. Those cheap ass Samsung phones sold in the USA, dont even remotely come close to iPhone sales or any other Android OEM. The S and the Note alone easily selling at least 40M each in the USA alone would be my guess. Apple sales one phoen because they chose too. Other EOM's chose to sell one of 2 models here as well. Samsung sells very few models here too. Basically todays numbers mean out of the 80M phones Samsung sold in this quarter, 55% were sold here in the USA and with about 3 unique models selling at each major carrier, that means the S6 and Note 4 as a tandem is kicking everyone's @$$ including Apple's. HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH 20 MODELS. They don't sell 20 models here. Do the math. When I see people with a Samsung I see 2 models ALL THE TIME. Its always a Note or it's always an S. I have NEVER EVER seen anyone carrying a cheap Samsung model. EVER! I didnt say no one has one, I said I've never seen anyone with anything other than those 2.

51. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Apple has their own operating system, so if you want it you have 2 devices to choose from. Now, is for example, Apple was an Android OEM, they would have to make more models because they would have to compete on every possible level because if hey didnt, no one would buy their Android phones if they did them like their iPhone because there would always be better options. That's why Apple has so much money. First they make one phone. Making one phone is cheaper than making 5 phones. They dont have to have top of the line hardware because, if you are locked into iOS due to app and media purchases, then you have no choice but to keep buying them unless you quite cold turkey. Apple has far less distrubutions vs Samsung. Samsung has a phoen available on over 300 carriers in nearly 300 ciountries, Apple cant make this calim. All that distibutions cost money. Samsung also makes the most of its own products at their own factories which costs more than using Foxconn, though they use them too. Again all this cost money. Samsung Electronics has 300,000 employees vs Apple with 100,000 or so. Again this costs money.Samsung spent over $14BN USD in R&D. I bet Apple hasnt spent that much in R&D combined since 2007. After all look at their phones, what is inside that would need that much R&D? NOTHING!

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