updated 10:00 am EST, Fri November 7, 2008
Samsung Tops in US Phones
Samsung today surprised the cellphone business by claiming the lead in US phone sales for the summer based on a Strategy Analytics report [membership required]. The company edged out Motorola, the long-time holder of the position, by earning 22.4 percent of the American market versus US-native Motorola's 21.1 percent. LG followed close behind and now threatens to overtake either of the two leaders with 20.5 percent of sales following steady increases in recent months.
Smartphone manufacturers fill out the top five and show Apple continuing to trail Research in Motion in their core markets. While iPhones outshipped BlackBerries overall in the summer at 6.9 million phones versus 6.1 million, Apple accounted for just 5.7 percent of the US market while Research in Motion had nearly twice as much at 10.2 percent. The difference in performance is believed to stem from a much higher reliance on BlackBerries in business and better popularity in the US than in Europe or other countries, where companies like Nokia often have a much stronger presence.
Samsung's surge is attributed largely to the sheer diversity of its range, which varies from ultra-budget phones available for free to the BlackJack II, Instinct, and other phones that demand a premium.
Motorola's decline puts it at roughly half the share it once enjoyed with the RAZR and has long been said to have depended too heavily on the thin flip-phone for its success, at first banking on its design and $400 price tag but ultimately keeping the phone on the market for so long and in such ubiquitous levels that many carriers offer the phone for free with a contract. Few of its other devices have kept up, and the company now plans to focus on Android and Windows Mobile for the bulk of its phones over the course of the next year in an attempt to rekindle interest for its mid-range and high-end phones.