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Apple and Samsung dominate US smartphone sales, combine for 66 percent market share

When it comes to smartphones in the U.S., there’s Apple, Samsung, and the rest. In the quarter ended in September, those two giants accounted for two-thirds of all smartphones sold in the U.S., according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Apple and Samsung laid claim to 66 percent of all smartphones sold in the U.S. during the quarter, and they combined to claim nine of the top 10 most sold smartphones. There are, of course, distinctions between the two brands.

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For one thing, Apple’s iPhones are more popular gifts, accounting for 39 percent of all smartphones bought as gifts during the quarter versus Samsung’s 29 percent.

Kantar Worldpanel found that 49 percent of consumers surveyed plan to upgrade their smartphones in the next 12 months. Among this set, 43 percent prefer Apple while 34 percent prefer Samsung.

Loyalty is strong among current iPhone users, as 90 percent of them said they prefer Apple for their next smartphone versus 5 percent who said they prefer Samsung.

Meanwhile, 84 percent of current Samsung smartphone owners said they prefer Samsung for their next smartphone, while 10 percent said they prefer Apple.

Among current Android users, 58 percent said they prefer Samsung for their next smartphone versus 10 percent who said they prefer Apple. Motorola (9 percent), HTC (7 percent), and LG (6 percent) also received votes here.

“Considering how strongly consumers who are planning to upgrade over the next year feel about Apple and Samsung, two things are clear: consumers see Apple and Samsung in a league of their own and that the current market duopoly is far from over,” according to Kantar Worldpanel.

Another tidbit from the report: For first-time smartphone buyers, Android (27 percent) has an edge over Apple’s iOS (23 percent).

Apple claimed 43.6 percent of all smartphones in the U.S. during the three months ending in September, according to comScore’s latest numbers. Samsung followed with 27.6 percent.

However, both of those giants lost share compared to the prior quarter, and LG appears to have benefited from their losses: The smartphone maker saw their share hit 9.4 percent, up from 8.3 percent in the previous quarter.