If you jump back to calendar Q3 2013, Apple was falling behind Samsung in US smartphone marketshare with just 34% of the market compared to Samsung’s 38%. The theory at the time was that US buyers were holding out for the new iPhones that launched in September. Fast forward to last quarter, the three month period ended December 31, and that theory appears to be holding up. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) just sent over its latest reports showing Apple has once again taken the lead thanks to a strong holiday quarter of iPhone sales. 

As pictured above, the report shows Apple now has increased its share to around 48% in the US compared to a drop down to 31% for Samsung. While Samsung doesn’t report specific numbers for handset sales, Apple reported during its fiscal Q1 14 earnings results that it sold a record 51 million iPhones last quarter.

“Apple’s market share rebounded nicely from the previous quarter, when it had only one-third of total US sales,” said Josh Lowitz, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. “Conversely, Samsung’s share decreased to under one-third, from 38% in the previous quarter. Clearly, the launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C helped Apple sales in the quarter.”

CIRP notes that Apple’s share came not only at the expense of Samsung but also decreases in share for HTC (down 8%) and Blackberry (down 2%). LG is the only company that didn’t experience a drop in share and was able to maintain its roughly 8% share of the market since last quarter.

Tracking activations of both new and used mobile phones, CIRP also estimated share of the US market by operating system where Apple not surprisingly also experienced gains. Up from just 34% of activations last quarter, CIRP’s data shows Apple has jumped up to 48% during the holiday quarter. That compares to 46% on Android. Additionally, CIRP points to the chart below showing iOS users are spending more:

CIRP-OS-Spending-Q4-2013

“iOS customers have higher carrier bills, spending more on voice, texts, and data than Android buyers,” said Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. “Over half of iOS buyers spend over $100 per month, compared to one-third of Android customers. And, about one quarter of Android customers spend under $50 per month, compared to only 7% of iOS buyers.”

While Apple once again has taken the lead in the US and continues strong in key markets, the latest reports from research firms indicate that its marketshare globally has dropped over the last year.