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Apple Topples Samsung in September

With all the banter about how Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) iPhone 5c missed the mark, it seems the success of the 5s may have been overshadowed. In September, both the 5s and the 5c helped Apple take the top-selling smartphone vendor spot in the U.S., skyrocketing the company's market share in just a few weeks.

Going for the gold
According to data released today from Counterpoint Research, the iPhone 5s was the No. 1 selling phone in the U.S. in September, and the 5c took No. 3. That's pretty impressive considering the competition is Samsung's Galaxy S4 and the two phones were only on sale for just 10 days in September. The uptick for Apple comes after Samsung smartphone sales had outpaced Apple since April of this year.

Source: Counterpoint Research Monthly Market Pulse September 2013.

The two phones helped Apple grab 39% of the U.S. smartphone market last month. As far as other competitors go, both Apple and Samsung have the U.S. market pretty much tied up. The companies hold a combined 68% of the market, with the closest competitor being, LG with a less than 10% share.

With the 5c taking the No. 3 smartphone spot, Apple's plastic device may deserve a little more respect than it's been getting. Data from Localytics show that while the 5s was initially outselling the 5c by about 3.4 to 1 in the U.S., that number has dropped to about 1.9 to 1 now.

Source: Localytics.

Apple's iPhone sales have helped the company hold down the high-end smartphone segment. Peter Richardson, the research director at Counterpoint Research, said in a press release that, "Apple dominates the ultra-premium $500+ price-band capturing a 90% share of this segment and helping Apple double its overall market share in just a few weeks."

Going into the holiday season, Apple is likely to ride the wave of its new devices and continue to outpace Samsung sales. Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um thinks the iPhone 5c will help push iPhone sales up even more during the holiday season, noting that last year, sales of the 4S increased in November and December as buyers looked for less expensive iPhones. In the U.S. the 5c sells for just $99 with a two-year contract.

Apple investors should be happy to see the company outpacing Samsung in U.S. smartphone sales for the first time in about six months, and should also be glad to see the 5c looking better than some had anticipated after its initial launch. As holiday shopping ramps up, investors should look for more reports on how well both the 5s and 5c are doing, and ought to pay close attention when Apple releases its quarterly earnings report next week. At least in the U.S., it seems Apple will have a good next few months of smartphone sales, and with its latest iPad refresh, the company should enjoy a solid mobile holiday season.

What will Apple do next?
Though Apple is enjoying strong iPhone sales and is in the middle of launching its next iteration of the iPad line, the company is known for creatively destroying its products to make room for something far better. In our latest free report, "Apple Will Destroy Its Greatest Product," you can read about Apple's coming future. Can Apple really disrupt its own iPhones and iPads? Find out by clicking here.

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