Based on the latest data provided by Counterpoint's Market Monitor quarterly tracker program, the U.S. smartphone
market grew to 33 million units at the end of the first quarter of 2014, representative of a modest 7 percent growth rate. However, smartphones now account for more than 87 percent of total handsets, which is the highest ever. The biggest beneficiary of this growth appears to be Apple.
was the top overall handset supplier at the end of the first quarter, but Apple
sold more smartphone devices. Together, the two rivals captured two-thirds of the smartphone market in the U.S., leaving just a third for all other manufacturers to fight over (Microsoft/Nokia, HTC, Motorola, etc).
The growth is also good for faster data on-the-go, as three out of four smartphones shipped during the quarter were LTE handsets. And once again, it was Apple and Samsung that captured more than 70 percent of the LTE shipments. Regardless, with the majority of smartphones sporting 4G LTE radios, it puts the pressure on wireless carriers to flesh our their high-speed networks.
In terms of software, Android continues to dominate with a 59 percent share of the total smartphone market in the U.S. Windows Phone nudged up slightly, ending the quarter with a 4 percent stake.