iPhone Holds Title for Most Popular Smartphone Despite Negative Press

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Apple’s iPhone was the most popular smartphone in the U.S. in the first quarter of the year, despite a downturn in sales and a saturated smartphone market.

The iPhone outsold the most popular Android manufacturers, including Samsung, LG and Motorola, according to new data by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP).

The research firm looked at smartphone activations during Q1 2019, which ran from January to March.

  • Apple came in first with the highest share of smartphone activations during that period: 36 percent. Notably, that’s a better result than Apple’s performance in Q1 2018, but still lagged behind iPhone activations in 2017 and 2016.
  • Samsung came in second during Q1 2019 with about 34 percent of total smartphone activations in the U.S.
  • LG and Motorola lagged behind in third and fourth place, with 11 and 10 percent of activations, respectively.

The results are fairly typical for the smartphone market, which is largely an Apple and Samsung game. But CIRP’s data suggests that the Cupertino tech giant still maintained the upper hand throughout the first quarter of 2019.

When it came to looking at the Android versus iOS market as a whole, the former operating system took 64 percent while Apple’s platform took 34 percent. That is, of course, putting all Android devices made by different OEMs into the same category. But iOS’s marketshare actually increased a few points year-over-year.

It’s worth noting that CIRP’s data looks at smartphone activations, so the numbers may not be a direct parallel to how many devices Apple actually shipped during the quarter. Similarly, the report looked strictly at activations in the U.S. — so it doesn’t shed any light on Apple’s performance in the other regions in which it operates.

Still, the CIRP report comes as fairly positive news amid reports of slumping iPhone sales. Just yesterday, a supply chain report suggested that total Apple smartphone sales for the March quarter would be below expectations.

Apple’s next earnings call will be held on April 30, in which it will discuss its March quarterly results. But due to the fact that it no longer reports unit sales for its hardware products, the sales performance of Apple devices will be left up to interpretation from analysts.

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