In Q4 2013, Apple and Samsung were the clear winners in the US smartphone race. iPhone ownership increased from 35 percent in Q4 2012 to 42 percent in Q4 2013 while Samsung Android phones increased from 22 percent of smartphones owned in Q4 2012 to 26 percent in Q4 2013.

The latest figures come from an NPD report, which is the first to discuss end-of-year smartphone figures in the US. Apple’s and Samsung’s gains came at the expense of HTC, Motorola, and BlackBerry:

SmartphoneOEMShareOwnership1 16 14 NPD: Apple grabbed 42% of US smartphone share in Q4 2013, Samsung took 26%, as HTC, Motorola, and BlackBerry fell

Over the past year, smartphone penetration increased from 52 percent in Q4 2012 to about 60 percent of cell phone users in Q4 2013. The NPD has concluded that as more US consumers migrate to smartphones, they are increasingly opting for iPhones and Samsung Android phones.

NPD noted that as smartphone penetration increased, so has consumers’ data usage, particularly thanks to the adoption of music streaming services. Average American data usage went from 5.5GB per month in Q4 2012 to 6.6GB per month in Q4 2013, the firm found.

“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,” NPD Executive Director John Buffone said in a statement. “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.”

NPD’s data comes from surveying some 4,500 smartphone users in the US. It’s important to note that Q4 2013 didn’t include December and thus didn’t factor in the holiday season, as the findings were collected between September and November 2013 as well as September and November 2012.

See also – Forrester: Microsoft is beating Apple and Samsung in the battle for consumer mindshare and Apple and Samsung agree to talks to try to resolve their ongoing patent battle

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