Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone continues to dominate smartphone sales at AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and to a lesser extent at Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) relative to smartphones from Samsung Electronics, according to court documents. Samsung's presence remains stronger at Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile USA, which does not carry the iPhone, the documents show.
The quarterly sales figures were the latest bit of industry minutia to trickle out of the patent-infringement suit between Apple and Samsung.
According to the documents, unearthed by CNET, in the fourth quarter of 2011 the iPhone made up 63 percent of AT&T's smartphone sales, Samsung made up 12 percent and other manufactures made up the remaining 24 percent. Dating back to the first quarter of 2010, Apple's share of smartphone sales at AT&T never dipped below 52 percent in a quarter. The documents, which only provide statistics through the fourth quarter of 2011, show that quarter as the high-quarter mark for Samsung at AT&T. According to AT&T's own figures though, Apple's dominance has grown in the last two quarters, with the iPhone making up around 78 percent of smartphones sales in the first quarter and 72.5 percent in the second quarter.
The story at Verizon is similar, but the iPhone's dominance is not nearly as large, especially since Verizon did not start carrying the iPhone until February 2011. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the iPhone made up 54 percent of Verizon's smartphone sales, Samsung made up 12 percent and other OMEs made up 34 percent. Verizon sells many Motorola Mobility smartphones as well as those from HTC, LG and others. According to Verizon's own tallies, the iPhone made up close to 51 percent of its smartphone sales in the first quarter and nearly 46 percent in the second quarter.
Sprint Nextel, which did not start selling the iPhone until October 2011, has a much more robust history of Samsung sales, and in the fourth quarter of 2011, Samsung made up 32 percent of its smartphone sales, just below the iPhone's 36 percent share and at par with the 32 percent all other manufacturers had. However, Samsung made up 42 percent of Sprint's smartphone sales in the second quarter of 2011--its highest quarterly sales percentage at the carrier, according to the documents.
T-Mobile, which still does not offer the iPhone, saw Samsung carry 45 percent of its smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2011, its highest ever in a quarter for the carrier. T-Mobile executives have said they would like to offer the iPhone, and part of the carrier's network modernization plans center around making HSPA+ services available on its 1900 MHz PCS spectrum, which would be able to support the iPhone.
In other news in the case, Apple rested its argument and Samsung prepared to call its witnesses. Apple has said Samsung is infringing on its design and utility patents, but Samsung has said it is not and those patents are not valid. Samsung has also countersued Apple, and has argued that Apple is infringing on its patents related to wireless standards. Apple is seeking at least $2.5 billion in damages and a sales ban on certain Samsung devices.
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