LG Overtakes Apple To Claim Second Place In U.S. Phone Market Share [Report]

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Just a few weeks ago, we reported that Samsung and Apple were the only two smartphone manufacturers seeing growth in the United States, and that the pair were slowly eating away at their rivals’ market share. But when you take old-fashioned feature phones into account, the situation looks a little different.

New data from Counterpoint Research suggests that strong December sales have helped LG overtake Apple to claim the second-largest stake of the U.S. phone market. As you might expect, Samsung is still way ahead in first.

LG announced last week that its flagship Optimus G had recently surpassed the one million sales mark, and the Korean company is enjoying plenty of success with the Nexus 4, which it manufactures for Google. Clearly that success is paying off, because it now owns the second-largest share of the U.S. phone market.

Counterpoint claims that brisk sales of LG smartphones over the Christmas period helped its share of mobile devices in the U.S. increase to 13%, narrowly beating Apple’s 12% share. Samsung remained top of the pile with a whopping 33% share, while Motorola and HTC claimed a 9% and 8% share respectively.

LG lost its second spot during the third quarter of 2011 following the launch of the iPhone 4S, according to Counterpoint, and Apple has been nipping at Samsung’s heels ever since. Thanks to the increasing popularity of LG devices, however, the two companies have switched again.

It’s unclear which LG devices performed so well in December, but given that the Optimus G has only sold one million units in four months, we suspect the Nexus 4 has been leading the sales spike.

Of course, it’s worth noting that the phone market is different to the smartphone market. Smartphones only account for around half of all phones in the U.S., which means the other half are traditional feature phones. Given that Apple doesn’t compete in this space, this does not mean LG’s smartphones have outsold Apple’s smartphones.

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