Apple hits US phone sales milestone

The launch of the iPhone 5 and the declining popularity of non-smartphones made Apple the biggest seller of phones in the US over the holiday season – for the first time, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

The firm estimates that Apple shipped 17.7 million iPhones of all kinds to US buyers in the October to December period, meaning it accounted for one in three new phones.

South Korea’s Samsung was close behind, shipping 16.8 million phones, including non-smart ones. Samsung has been the largest seller of phones to the US market since 2008, Strategy Analytics said.

Worldwide, Samsung is still the biggest phone vendor, according to another research firm, IDC.

Apple is number three, with 9.9% of the market.

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