Analyst: Apple’s iPhone 5S Dominates U.S. Smartphone Sales

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Source: Apple.com

Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C have secured two of the top three rankings at all four major U.S. carriers for the past three months, according to market data obtained by Apple Insider from Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley. The four carriers are AT&T (NYSE:T), Sprint (NYSE:S), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), and T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS).

Although Samsung’s (SSNLF.PK) Galaxy S4 took the second or third ranking at some carriers, the data showed that Apple’s iPhone 5S held the top spot at all four carriers in September, October, and November. Samsung was also the second most popular smartphone brand overall, after Apple, during the same three months.

In a note to investors obtained by Apple Insider, Walkley credited the “strong” sales of the iPhone 5S and the “steady” sales of the iPhone 5C as the primary reasons for Apple’s smartphone market dominance. Before Apple released its latest iPhone models in September, HTC, Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Samsung, and Sony (NYSE:SNE) all had at least one device that was ranked in the top three at one or more of the major carriers. However, Apple’s iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C soon displaced all competitors from the top three except for Samsung.

Apple Insider reports that Walkley also noted Apple’s new iPhone models are major worldwide sellers. Apple’s flagship smartphone was “by far the top selling smartphone … at most channels where the smartphone launched globally,” wrote Walkley.

The Canaccord Genuity analyst noted that Apple has had exceptionally strong sales for its new iPad models during November. The market research firm’s surveys found “strong Black Friday weekend iPad Air and new iPad mini sales … essentially at all channels where the iPads were available,” Apple Insider says.

Canaccord Genuity’s surveys are in line with holiday shopping season data from other research firms and retailers. According to mobile app analytics firm Localytics, 51 percent more new iPad Airs were activated during the Black Friday shopping weekend in comparison to the previous weekend.

Localytics’ data aligned with announcements from Target (NYSE:TGT) and Walmart (NYSE:WMT) that both the compact and full-size versions of Apple’s iPad were top sellers during the Black Friday weekend. Finally, market research firm Parks Associates found that Apple was the most popular brand in seven key categories of electronics products that consumers intend to buy over the holiday shopping season, including the categories of smartphones and tablets.

Based on this data, Walkley raised his price target on Apple shares from $580 to $600 and increased his iPhone unit shipment estimate to 54 million for the December quarter.

Follow Nathanael on Twitter @ArnoldEtan_WSCS

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