Apple surpassed multi-year leader Samsung to become the top selling mobile phone vendor in the US during the fourth quarter of 2012. Strategy Analytics estimates that Apple sold a whopping 17.7 million mobile phones for a record 34 percent market share. Samsung fell to second place with 16.8 million phones shipped in the same period, adding up to 32 percent of the US market.
According to NPD Group, the iPhone 5 was the top selling smartphone in the US during the last quarter, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S III. The iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and Samsung Galaxy S II were in third, fourth and fifth place respectively. There's nothing like a new product launch right before the holidays to drive sales. The iPhone 5 made up 43 percent of all iPhone sales, and accounted for almost two thirds of all post-paid smartphones above $199.
Sometimes a promotion comes around that sounds too good to be true. If you're one of the millions of Americans who still has some last-minute holiday shopping to get done, there's a gift card deal ending today, Saturday December 22. Best Buy is selling iTunes gift cards at 20 percent off face value.
The discount applies to Apple iTunes gift cards purchased in Best Buy stores at denominations of anywhere from $15 to $100. The recipient can redeem the iTunes gift card for apps, books, movies, music and television shows and even spend the money on the Mac App Store.
Good news for iPhone 5 shoppers this holiday season. Your patience has paid off and now that the iPhone 5 has been out for a couple of months, retailers are starting to discount the price. Radio Shack is offering the iPhone 5 at $20 off full price, making the 16GB iPhone 5 only $179 with a two-year contract in stores.
Best Buy has also offered iPhone 5 shoppers a deal. Purchase the iPhone 5 from Best Buy and the company will give you a $25 Best Buy gift card for free. The physical gift card or e-gift card will be delivered to customers purchasing the iPhone 5 with a two-year service contract at Best Buy stores or online.
Apple has announced the next phase of its global iPhone 5 rollout. No less than 54 countries are on the list to receive the latest device before the end of this year. In a press release, Apple said the iPhone 5 will be available in South Korea starting on Friday, December 7th.
From there, it's on to two long lists of countries that will get the iPhone 5 on December 14th and December 21st. The iPhone 5 is already available in 47 countries, which means Apple will meet its goal of selling the iOS smartphone in over 100 countries before the end of 2012.
The iPhone 5 release has pushed Apple over the top. Regaining its lead for the first time since March, Apple's iOS smartphone sales are once again dominating the US market. According to Kantar World Panel, Apple is on track to surpass the previous high of 49.3% of smartphone sales seen after the iPhone 4S launch.
Second place Google Android is not far behind at the moment, but the devices have seen a sharp decline in sales with the iPhone 5 launch. Google's share of US smartphone sales had surpassed 65% just one year ago. While Windows and other smartphones linger at the bottom, BlackBerry maker RIM has seen a steady decline in US sales over the past two years.
Good news for those of you looking to buy an iPhone 5 during this holiday season. Apple has come closer to catching up with demand, and shipping times listed on their online store have dropped to just one week. This is down from the previous estimate of two weeks.
Delivery times are the same for all wireless carriers, both the black and white iPhone 5 and all models from 16GB up to 64GB storage. Even though one week may seem like a long time, right after pre-ordering sold out on launch day Apple was taking up to a month to fill orders.
AT&T is now offering refurbished iPhone 5 models at a discount. Sign up for a two-year contract online and you can get $50 off one of the refurbished units. On Black Friday the discount was even steeper, with $100 off being reported by Cult of Mac.
Currently AT&T has marked the refurbished 16GB black iPhone 5 out of stock, but the white 16GB and 32GB or 64GB in white or black are available. The discounts bring refurb phone prices down to $150, $250 and $350 depending on the amount of storage.
That time of year when Apple offers discounts for holiday shoppers is fast approaching. The company has launched its online Gift Guide to help shoppers find the perfect electronic gift. This year, Apple is focusing heavily on the iPad mini, the latest iOS device to hit the market.
Besides encouraging iPad sales, several accessories are highlighted that can be used in conjunction with iOS devices. Everything from Mac computers to iPhones and musical instruments can be shipped for free on the Apple online store. Apple's Gift Guide is not the only way to find the perfect item for friends and family. Holiday shopping apps such as whohas.it can track hard-to-find items and send alerts directly to your iOS device when a product becomes available.
Apple looks to be on track for an iPhone 5 launch in China just two months after its initial release in the US. According to a report cited by MacRumors, China Telecom Chairman Wang Xiaochu expects the iPhone 5 to be approved by the government in early December.
The market for mobile devices in China is expansive and includes the world's largest carrier, China Mobile with 665 million subscribers. Grey market iPhone 5 units imported from other countries are already in high demand. The iPhone 4 rapidly sold out after its launch in China during September 2010.
Apple has executed the fastest new device rollout in its history with the iPhone 5. Countries continue to be added to the list, with the latest round slated to get the new iPhone on Friday, November 2. India was originally planned to get the iPhone 5 this week, however the schedule was pushed back due to shipping delays.
The complete list of countries in the next phase of Apple's global iPhone launch includes Bulgaria, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Greece, India, Malta, Mexico, Romania and Thailand. Analysts are watching to see how India reacts, as Apple has reportedly had difficulty gaining market share due to the higher price of its mobile devices.