iPhone’s market share rises in U.S., but Samsung steals top spot

Apple’s share of the U.S. smartphone market rose last quarter, but that couldn’t prevent Samsung from stealing the top spot.

Strong demand for the Galaxy S8 helped the South Korean company overtake its biggest rival, but the “bounce” from its launch was less than expected for a flagship device.

You won’t find a single negative review of the Galaxy S8 series. Samsung couldn’t have produced a better smartphone. Sales have been spectacular since the devices made their debut, and demand remains strong four months on.

This helped Samsung’s market share in the U.S. rise to 36.2 percent in the three months ending May 2017 — up from 32.9 percent during the previous quarter. Apple’s share rose 4.7 percent during the same period, but its 34 percent total couldn’t quite beat Samsung’s.

Next-gen iPhones might tip the scale

As a result, Samsung is again the top smartphone manufacturer in the U.S. — but that might not last long. Its market share boost from the Galaxy S8 did not prove as significant as expected. And Apple’s new handsets lurk right around the corner.

“The Galaxy S8 launch helped Samsung regain the top position in the USA, but the bounce from the flagship launch was less than would be expected from a full product redesign,” said Dominic Sunnebo,¬†Global Strategic Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

It’s still very much a two-horse race between Apple and Samsung, however. Each have five devices in the list of top 10 smartphones in the U.S. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus take the top two spots, while the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S8 come in third and fourth respectively.

iOS’ share rose across the Germany, France, and Spain, but declined in Great Britain and Italy. It also remained almost flat in China, grabbing just 19.2 percent of the market. That’s 0.4 percentage points fewer than the same period last year.

All this could change in late 2017 when the iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus and the much-anticipated iPhone 8 arrive. Analysts expect the latter to kick off an iPhone “supercycle” as fans rush to upgrade for the big redesign and exciting new features.