Counterpoint’s Market Monitor quarterly tracker program released the Q1 2014 statics on U.S. purchasing habits when it comes to mobile phones – it shows that yearly growth of smartphones was modest at only 7-percent, as the mobile phone world becomes saturated to the point that already 87-percent of all Americans now opt for a smartphone when making their purchase. This figure is the highest ever for a study such as this and is probably more an indication that ‘dumb’ phones are getting harder to find and that the price of smartphones is now very cheap – most carriers will give you a smartphone for FREE if you sign up for a two-year agreement. Look at the new Moto E for only $129 OFF contract – true it is an entry-level device, but even an entry-level smartphone has much more capabilities than a ‘dumb’ phone of any sort.
Another finding in the study was that 75-percent of all smartphones sold in the U.S. were LTE capable – a clear indication of how fast the 4G-LTE network has grown in this country. Even those that may not yet have LTE coverage are probably buying them because – one, they are anticipating receiving LTE in the near future, and secondly, the carriers in the U.S. are pushing the LTE devices and those money-making data plans.
Let us take a quick look at the Apple versus Samsung battle for supremacy – Samsung is and will be for the foreseeable future the number one mobile phone manufacturer, shipper and seller in the global market place. However, strictly in the United States, while Samsung is the winner when it comes to ‘top handset supplier,’ they fall to second place behind Apple when it comes to ‘top smartphone supplier.’
Some other interesting facts from this study show that in the U.S. – Apple and Samsung control 67-percent of the smartphone market – Apple and Samsung together captured more than 70-percent of the LTE smartphone market – and that the dominance of Apple or Samsung varied by carrier, with Apple dominating AT&T and Verizon, slightly ahead on Sprint, while Samsung dominated on T-Mobile. Another note of interest is the T-Mobile (with MetroPCS) is now the third largest smartphone carrier in the U.S. in terms of smartphone volumes. Android rose to 59-percent of total smartphones shipped during the quarter and Windows Phone grew to slightly under 4-percent.
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