Apple's three available models combined to capture 43 percent of the U.S. smartphone market in Q4. The iPhone 4S was the most popular model, outselling the iPhone by 75% and outselling the iPhone 3GS by five to one.
Together, Android and iPhone accounted for over 90 percent of smartphone sales, with Android holding on to 48 percent of the smartphone market during the quarter; however, Android devices performed better among first-time smartphone buyers. Based on the latest data from The NPD Group's monthly Smartphone Track service, among the first-time smartphone buyers in Q4, 57 percent purchased Android phones compared to just 34 percent who purchased iPhones.
"Android has been criticized for offering a more complex user experience than its competitors, but the company's wide carrier support and large app selection is appealing to new smartphone customers," Rubin said. "Android's support of LTE at Verizon has also made it the exclusive choice for customers who want to take advantage of that carrier's fastest network."
The overall share of mobile phone sales that are smartphones continued to climb in Q4 2011, reaching 68 percent of the total mobile phone market, which is an increase of 18 percentage points since Q4 2010. Based on the latest data from NPD's monthly Mobile Phone Track service, average selling prices for smartphones increased eight dollars over the prior quarter, reaching $143 in Q4 2011, which is still below average price of $149 in Q4 2010.
Top five best-selling mobile phone handsets in Q4:
1. Apple iPhone 4S
2. Apple iPhone 4
3. Apple iPhone 3GS
4. Samsung GALAXY S II
5. Samsung GALAXY S 4G