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NPD: Samsung Becoming Top Android Provider

Port Washington,
N.Y. – Samsung has become a dominant manufacturer of Android smartphones in the
U.S. with its share growing 140 percent in the first quarter of 2012 over the prior
year, to reach 24 percent, according to The NPD Group.

Apple continues to
lead smartphone manufacturers in Q1 share, growing 7 percent over the same
period last year, to capture 29 percent of the market.

During the same
period, smartphone models manufactured by LG, HTC, Motorola and RIM all
experienced market-share declines.

NPD’s ranking of
manufacturers, based on Q1 sales of new smartphones in the U.S. has Apple at 29
percent, Samsung at 24 percent and HTC at 15 percent.

The rise of the
prepaid market contributed to Samsung’s growth, and part of the rise for prepaid
handsets were smartphones. In the absence of an Apple prepaid option, Android
phones accounted for 79 percent of the prepaid smartphone market in Q1. Thirty-eight
percent sold in the U.S. were manufactured by Samsung.

“Samsung is the
only market leader from the feature phone era to transition to market
leadership in the smartphone era in the U.S.,” said Ross Rubin, connected
intelligence executive director for The NPD Group. “Its broad carrier support
and advertising — particularly in the ascendant pre-paid segment — have
helped it achieve the highest market share among Android handset providers in
the U.S.”

Android’s OS share
of the smartphone market in the U.S. regained some ground against Apple in the first
quarter of 2012 vs. the prior quarter. Sales of new smartphones running the
Android OS grew 24 percent over the prior quarter to reach 61 percent of the

Apple’s iOS share
fell from 41 percent to 29 percent, which is a quarter-over-quarter decline of
29 percent. Even so, year-over-year smartphone sales for both companies
remained strong, representing 90 percent of smartphone sales, with Android
gaining 20 percent in 2012 and Apple gaining 7 percent.

Based on NPD’s
monthly Mobile Phone Track service, the top-selling smartphone operating
systems in the U.S. in Q1 were as follows: Android, 61 percent; iOS, 29
percent; RIM, 5 percent; and Windows Phone 7, 2 percent.

While handset
models running Android’s OS continue to own the lion’s share of the U.S.
handset market, Apple’s iPhone devices held onto the top three spots in NPD’s
overall handset ranking in the first quarter of this year in this order: iPhone
4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3G S, Samsung GalaxySII and HTC Evo 3D.

“After some
release of pent-up demand from customers adopting the iPhone 4S, coupled with
the company’s strength in the holiday season, Apple’s share fell in the first
quarter, as we’ve often see it do in the quarter following its introduction of
a new handset,” Rubin said.

“Now that the
iPhone is available on Sprint, though, the increased carrier coverage has
created a higher baseline for Apple’s share than we have seen in the past,” he