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Apple's iPhone Still The Number One Seller In The US

Apple's market leading iPhone
Apple's market leading iPhone
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

To no one's great surprise the latest market numbers show us that Apple's iPhone is still the number on seller in the US. The company doesn't have it all it's own way, of course, for Samsung is still shipping more actual phones. The explanation is, of course, that Samsung has many different models on the market at the same time, Apple only a handful. Thus the higher selling specific model position even as a lower overall market penetration:

Just the other day, we told you about the iPad leading the market in tablet sales. Before that, we learned Apple had been surpassed by Google as the most valuable brand in the world. This time, we’re reporting that the iPhone is the number one selling smartphone in the U.S. for three of the top four mobile networks in the country. This is according to Counterpoint’s Market Monitor, which mentioned that the majority of all handset shipments are smartphones; to be specific, 87%. The number grew by 7% compared to the previous reporting period of January to March.

The real surprise here is just how quickly the smartphone is replacing the featurephone. After all, the iPhone, the category creator, was only first released in 2008, so we're only 6 years into the existence of the smartphone as an actual product and yet it is rapidly becoming the dominant market force. It's likely that there's not been a technology with a speed of adoption this fast, ever, not in the entire history of our species. The only potential contender is the mobile phone itself but the smartphone has spread faster than that did.

And it's not just in the US either. Ericsson recently estimated that there will be 5.9 billion smartphones out there within 5 years. That's some 85% of the entire human population owning and using one. This is just outrageously fast for technical adoption of any new technology or machinery. As I say, faster than any previous one by an order of magnitude.

The other thing to note about this market is that Samsung and Apple have about two thirds of the market: but they also have more than 100% of the profits in the entire market. That is possible because some of the other players are losing money, leaving room for the two sets of profits together to be more than the total profits in the market.