Galaxy S6 sales help Samsung overtake Apple for U.S. market lead

Samsung's back on top in the U.S. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Samsung’s back on top in the U.S. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Samsung has overtaken Apple to regain its lead of the U.S. smartphone market following strong sales of the Galaxy S6. The South Korean company’s latest smartphone became the third best-selling smartphone in its first full month on sale, trailing only the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy S5.

Thanks to Samsung’s resurgence, as well as strong sales from LG, Android’s share of the U.S. market increased by 2.8 percentage points to 64.9 percent during the three-month period ending in May, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Samsung’s sales increased from 52 percent to 55 percent as the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge enjoyed their first full month on the market, and the South Korean company’s year-over-year performance also improved as a result.

Other Android smartphone makers, including HTC and Motorola, had “a more difficult period,” writes Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar — with their market shares decreasing year-over-year.

Android isn’t doing quite as well in Europe, however. Across the “big five” markets — Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain — Android’s share dropped 2.9 percentage points while the iPhone 6 continued to thrive.

“Britain remains the iOS stronghold, forcing Android vendors to rely more on winning customers from Apple than from other Android players,” said Dominic Sunnebo, business unit director at Kantar. “In the three months ending in May, only 5% of new Android buyers came from Apple, compared to 11% for the same period in 2014.”

Apple also leads in China, where Huawei overtook Xiaomi to claim second place. However, all three market leaders are within just 0.5 percentage points of one another.