LG Overtakes Apple as #2 U.S. Handset Manufacturer; Samsung Passes Apple as World's Leading Chip Buyer

For the first time in a year, LG has overtaken Apple in the U.S. handset market to become the region's second largest phone manufacturer.

According to statistics from Counterpoint Research, LG phones accounted for 13 percent of the U.S. handset market in December, which is one percent more than Apple.

Samsung remained the U.S. market leader with a 33 percent share of the market. Google's Motorola and HTC came fourth and fifth with nine and eight percent, respectively.


While it's unclear which LG devices propelled the company's sales during the busy holiday month, it recently said that its Optimus G smartphone has sold over one million units. A spokesperson for the firm told Yonhap News: "Optimus G and our other latest smartphones gained popularity in the North American market."

The Google Nexus 4, which is produced by LG, also could have contributed, despite its widely reported shortage issues. Neither LG or Google has announced sales for the device yet. The former will announce its 2012 fourth quarter earnings on January 30.

Since the release of the iPhone 5, Apple has suffered its largest share price drop in four years, with demand for the iPhone 5 said to be weakening.

Elsewhere, during 2012, South Korean technology conglomerate Samsung overtook its chief rival Apple as the world's leading chip buyer.

Samsung's spending on chips increased by 29 percent to $23.9 billion, representing an 8 percent of the entire global market for the product. Apple increased its spending on chips during 2012 by 13.6 percent to $21.4 billion, accounting for 7.2 percent of the worldwide market.

Apple and Samsung collectively purchased 15 out of every 100 chips produced last year. The total value of all of the chips created during 2012 was $45 billion. Following the two technology giants, the top five chip purchasers included HP, Dell and Sony with market shares of 4.7, 2.9 and 2.7 percent, respectively.

Finnish handset manufacturer Nokia experienced the biggest decline in chip purchases last year, with the company dropping from 5th to 10th place. It bought $5 billion worth of chips in 2012, which is a decrease when compared to the $8.5 billion it spent during 2011.

Although spending increased by the top technology leaders, overall semiconductor sales experienced a decline of 3 percent to a total of $297.6 billion in 2012.

Incidentally, Apple pays Samsung $8.8 billion a year for its mobile processors, representing 80 percent of the former's business with its chief competitor. Amid reports that the iPhone maker is turning to other sources for its processors, Samsung has stressed that it's planning to diversify its chip business.

During the latter stages of 2012, Samsung's plan to invest $3.9 billion in its Texas-based chip production plant was approved by U.S. officials, subsequently bringing its total investment in the plant to $13 billion.

 

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  • chocostain
    "I'll sue all of them!" - Apple
    20
  • virtualban
    But, but, but.. apple is magical... no...?
    19
  • rantoc
    Hmm is it just me or... LG Overtakes Foxconn as #2 U.S. Handset Manufacturer!?

    Apple don't manufacture phones, they contract other company's to make the parts then have them shipped to foxconn who assembles them for them...
    11
  • Other Comments
  • virtualban
    But, but, but.. apple is magical... no...?
    19
  • chocostain
    "I'll sue all of them!" - Apple
    20
  • rantoc
    Hmm is it just me or... LG Overtakes Foxconn as #2 U.S. Handset Manufacturer!?

    Apple don't manufacture phones, they contract other company's to make the parts then have them shipped to foxconn who assembles them for them...
    11