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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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  • virtualban
    But, but, but.. apple is magical... no...?
    Reply
  • chocostain
    "I'll sue all of them!" - Apple
    Reply
  • 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...
    Reply
  • jacobdrj
    Good for LG... I am a big fan of their products. They make good stuff, even on their less-than-top-tier products.
    Reply
  • rantoc
    jacobdrjGood for LG... I am a big fan of their products. They make good stuff, even on their less-than-top-tier products.
    LG have pretty good quality considering what is paid for their products, many still associate them with the old name Goldstar where pretty much everything was cheap crap.
    Reply
  • becherovka
    LG hardware is good, their software needs work but is getting a lot better. Next step get battery life up.
    I own a LG phone and have mixed feelings about it.
    Reply
  • pacomac
    Don't forget this is market share of all phones and not just smartphones, which is why Apple are in third place. To put things into perspective Apple currently had 51% of the US smartphone market sales last quarter.
    Reply
  • vaughn2k
    First came the iPod. Then a thinner iPod. Then an iPod you can touch. Then lots of other iPods — ones that allow you to shuffle your songs, ones you can talk on, a gigantic one you can't talk on.

    http://mashable.com/2012/11/02/parody-ipad-mini-ad/

    “Anyone standing in line for an iPad mini in New York or New Jersey this week should be punched in the throat.” - Jimmy Kimmel

    Reply
  • ericburnby
    rantocHmm 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...Just like every company does. Even Samsung gets a lot if stuff built by Foxconn. Samsung also buys components from others since they don't make everything that goes in their devices.

    Your point us?
    Reply
  • ericburnby
    pacomacDon't forget this is market share of all phones and not just smartphones, which is why Apple are in third place. To put things into perspective Apple currently had 51% of the US smartphone market sales last quarter.Exactly. Yet some idiot still down voted you for telling the truth and stating facts. Pathetic.
    Reply