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Apple, Samsung lead smartphone sales in the US

MUMBAI: As more US consumers migrate to smartphones, they are increasingly opting for iPhones and Samsung Android phones. According to the Connected Intelligence Connected Home Report from The NPD Group, over the past year, smartphone penetration increased from 52 per cent in Q4 2012 to six-in-ten cell phone users in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Apple and Samsung were the winners as more consumers migrated to their flagship devices. iPhone ownership increased from 35 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 42 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2013. Likewise, Samsung Android phones increased from 22 per cent of smartphones owned in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 26 per cent in last year’s fourth quarter. In contrast, fewer smartphone owners reported having an HTC, Motorola, or Blackberry device in Q4 2013.

As smartphone penetration increased over the past year, so has consumers’ data usage, which went from 5.5 GB per month in Q4 2012 to 6.6 GB per month in Q4 2013. While this increase in data usage came from a variety of activities, a key driver has been the adoption of streaming music services such as Pandora and iHeart Radio.

According to the Connected Intelligence Smartphone Usage Report, the per cent of smartphone owners that use an app to stream music increased from 41 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 52 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The market for streaming music services is getting more competitive. While Pandora remains the most commonly used music app in Q4 2013, it is followed by iHeart Radio, Spotify, TuneIn Radio, and Slacker Radio, all of which experienced an increase in incidence of usage over the past year.

Top 5 Music Apps Used on Smart Phones
(Q4 2013)

1

Pandora

2

iHeart Radio

3

Spotify

4

TuneIn Radio

5

Slacker Radio

Connected Intelligence executive director industry analyst John Buffone said,  “Considering the increase in prominence of smartphone music apps, it’s not surprising that hardware manufacturers such as Beats are leveraging partnerships with carriers, like AT&T to break into the streaming music market,” said “This allows AT&T to offer subscribers more of what they want in the way of innovative music apps and provides Beats a partner capable of driving trial in a market where consumers already have an affinity for the music services they use.”