Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was just dethroned as the king of U.S. smartphones, according to data released by market researchers at Kantar Worldpanel earlier this week.
Korean rival Samsung now owns a smallish lead in terms of U.S. smartphone market share. CNBC has more detail:
The company said Samsung’s Galaxy S8 helped it overtake Apple in May, even though it lost some market share year over year.
“Samsung regained the top sales spot in the USA in the three-month period ending in May 2017, with market share rising to 36.2% from 32.9%” in the prior quarter, Kantar Worldpanel global business unit director Dominic Sunnebo said. Apple’s market share came in at 34 percent, which Sunnebo said is up 4.7 percentage points from last year.
On a positive note, Apple does hold the top two spots in terms of smartphone models, with its iPhone 7 and 7 Plus representing the most popular smartphones in the United States. Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S8 follow at spots three and four.
Apple and Samsung hold a near duopoly in the smartphone market, in fact. Combined, their various models dominate the top 10 most popular handsets in the U.S., with all other smartphone makers struggling to gain a significant foothold.
Investors should take these findings with a grain of salt, however, because Kantar Worldpanel’s data is at odds with what other market researchers have published. ComScore, for example, said last week that Apple’s smartphone market share in the U.S. was a whopping 44.9% at the end of June, with Samsung a distant second at 29.1%.
It’s difficult to say whose numbers are more accurate, but one thing is for sure: Apple is going to get a major bump from this fall’s iPhone 8, which is its most anticipated device in years. While production concerns could limit the amount of new devices it makes this year, those worries should subside in early 2018 and lead to a massive new upgrade cycle.
Apple Inc. shares rose $1.28 (+0.82%) in premarket trading Friday. Year-to-date, AAPL has gained 36.26%, versus a 10.29% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.