Apple becomes the top smartphone vendor in US as Siri helps iPhone 4S outsell iPhone 4 by 75 percent

We saw the Android-iOS duopoly coming last summer. Now, the effects of this incredibly tight chokehold are becoming painfully evident to virtually every handset maker sans Apple and Samsung. According to a fresh NPD survey from this morning, during the fourth quarter of 2011 Android and Apple together accounted for over 90 percent of smartphone sales in the United States. No wonder RIM is sliding fast. The remaining 10 percent is up for grabs.

Apple, which seized the No. 1 crown from Samsung last quarter, and leapt past Samsung and LG to become the best-selling U.S. handset brand, according to NPD. The iPhone maker grabbed 43 percent of all U.S. smartphone sales, while Android devices accounted for 48 percent of devices. First-time buyers prefer Android (57 percent) to iPhone (34 percent). Smartphones in Q4 represented 68 percent of all cell phones in the U.S., up from 50 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Some perspective: HTC today reported fourth-quarter results and blamed Samsung and Apple for a 26 percent income drop. What’s more, HTC devices are nowhere to be seen on NPD’s list of the top five best-selling devices in the U.S.

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NPD: During October-November, iPhone 4S boosts Apple’s U.S. smartphone share, now within spitting distance of Android

In what is perhaps surprising to some, Apple’s iPhone 4S is turning the tables in the heated smartphone competition between Apple and Google, latest data from NPD reveals. Focusing on U.S. smartphone data for October and November, the research firm found out that iOS increased its operating system share of U.S. smartphone sales substantially while the Android platform lost significant ground to Apple (via Fortune). Yes, data only includes sales of smartphones, not tablets.

The Cupertino, California-headquartered iPhone maker is now within spitting distance of Google with only four percentage points of difference. iOS was close to doubling its share of the U.S. smartphone market, climbing from 26 percent in the third quarter of 2011 all the way up to 43 percent in October and November. During the same timeframe, Android fell from 60 percent to 47 percent.

Collectively, the two rival platforms grabbed an astounding 90 percent of U.S. smartphone sales. Moreover, the top three best-selling smartphones on NPD’s holiday list belonged to Apple, the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. What a difference a few weeks of sales make. Another interesting chart and more findings can be found right after the break.
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