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Apple still bests Samsung in U.S. smartphone sales

Arch phone enemies Apple and Samsung are still neck and neck in the great smartphone race. Although Samsung sold the most handsets in the United States, Apple sold the most smartphones during the first quarter of 2014. Together, the two rivals managed to sweep more than two-thirds of the smartphone market.

According to Counterpoint Research, Apple’s iPhones did very well at the two biggest U.S. wireless carriers. At AT&T, 52 percent of all customers upgraded to an iPhone and a whopping 51 percent of Verizon customers did the same. At Sprint, the iPhone also outsold Samsung’s smartphone lineup, with 36 percent of customers choosing Apple. The only carrier on the list that did not sell more iPhones than Samsung handsets was T-Mobile. Only 24 percent of the “Uncarrier’s” customers went for the iPhone, while 38 percent opted for Samsung.

At all of the carriers except T-Mobile, Samsung was right behind Apple. Samsung came closest to dethroning the iPhone at Sprint, where it captured 30 percent of buyers, in comparison with Apple’s 36 percent. At AT&T and Verizon, Samsung was much farther away from challenging Cupertino’s dominance. Its smartphones accounted for 28 and 29 percent of all sales at AT&T and Verizon respectively. Overall, the two companies sold 70 percent of all LTE-enabled smartphones and claimed the lions’ share of the entire smartphone market. Third-place vendors varied from carrier to carrier. 

Even though Apple is still the most popular smartphone vendor in the States, Android remains the operating system of choice at 59.2 percent. Apple’s iOS controlled just 36.9 percent of the market in the first quarter. Windows Phone continues to flounder with only 4 percent of the market. It’s pretty obvious that Android will once again win the OS wars, but when it comes to the great smartphone race, it’s anyone’s game at this point.

Either Apple or Samsung could come out on top this year, depending on how big of a splash the iPhone 6 and Samsung’s multiple smartphone offerings make.

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