Apple prevails – the three top smartphones in U.S. are iPhones

By on January 24, 2012
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Do you believe it, iPhone still kicks Android’s behind?

Unfortunately, we hardly ever get any sales or other market information about the Middle East and that’s also true for Apple. The iPhone 4S was introduced not long ago, and it’d be so interesting to know how well it has done.

Unless Apple changes its policies and practice in terms of sharing sales figures for the region, we’re left with what we can gather from other corners of the world.

If we look at some of the latest smartphone sales figures from the U.S., I think you will be surprised.

TechCrunch has published figures by research firm NPD that show that iOS came out on top in the October-November 2011 time period with a 43% market share in the U.S. Android is still ahead though with 47% share, which is down from the 60% it had in Q3.

What’s also very interesting – although not very surprising – is that smartphones are occupying an increasingly large part of the mobile handset market. In other words, we buy more smartphones and less featurephones and other mobile phones. In fact, two out of three handsets sold in October-November were smartphones, up from 50% the year before, according to NPD. Furthermore, nine out of the top ten phones sold in the period were smartphones.

That’s a lot of smartphones, no matter how you look at it.

For me the biggest surprise, however, when looking at the NPD numbers is that Apple occupies the top three slots of top models sold. The iPhone 4S is number one, followed by iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS occupies the number-three position.

Yes, that’s Apple ahead of all the Android handsets, including those from Samsung, Motorola, HTC, and LG, and that with its iPhone 3GS, a phone introduced in 2009.

That sure surprised me.

We hear so much about the Android juggernaut, that Android is outselling iPhone, and there’s no doubt that Android has come a long way in a short period of time. And even though I am an Apple fan and currently an iPhone 4S user I occasionally stray over to the Android side, mainly due to the wide range of hardware that is available.

Google executive Andy Rubin posted on Google+ that 3.7 million Android activations were carried out on December 24 – 25, 2011. That’s an amazing number, but it seems that iPhone still trumped Android for the holiday sales, as well. For in-store sales at AT&T in U.S., supposedly 66% was iPhone.

But don’t think for a second that Apple and iPhone now somehow beat Android. Sure, Apple has raked in more money to its already burgeoning war chest, and Android may not be top of all the charts, but the force that is Android will be hard to stop. Just look at all the new devices – from smartphones to tablets and beyond – all running Android, which were introduced in Las Vegas.

However, for now, let Apple bask for a second in the glow of having the top three selling mobile phones in the U.S. for the October-November 2011 period.

Photo by Yutaka Tsutano.


I write and talk too much about tech. You can find my personal blog at, my radio shows at, and me on Twitter as mnystedt.

  • Moe

    Android as a platform is outselling Apple. There are more Android handsets out there but since there are about half a dozen companies selling Android handsets with so many different models and price points, you would find it hard for one Android handset to outsell a company that only sells 1 or 2 devices. The fact that 4th and 5th are Samsung high end does say a lot in itself though.

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