Apple Sales Smokes Samsung, HTC for Second Consecutive Month

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Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4S continues to rule the roost at all the major U.S. carriers that have contracts to sell the fast-selling smartphone, ahead of both Samsung and HTC, according to a report released by Canaccord Genuity. [1] Checks performed by analysts at Canaccord showed that the iPhone 4S was the best-selling smartphone for November at all the three top U.S. carriers, AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and Sprint (NYSE:S). Hot on its heels was Samsung Galaxy S II which jumped to the #2 spot at both AT&T and Verizon. The iPhone 4S was launched in October to a reception that helped it realize sales of over 4 million units in the debut weekend and subsequently became the best-seller for that month, even though it wasn’t available for the majority of the period.

See our complete analysis for Apple stock here

Apple to regain top spot from HTC

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Apple has faced heightened competition from both Samsung and HTC in recent quarters. In fact, last quarter, with customers postponing their iPhone purchase in anticipation of a new model, HTC posted impressive market share gains to race ahead of Apple as the top smartphone vendor in the U.S. This quarter, however, has been disastrous for HTC as it has lowered its smartphone sales forecast for the quarter despite the ongoing holiday season that usually helps companies sell more phones. We believe that HTC’s dramatic downfall can be attributed primarily to the huge demand for the 4S which should help Apple regain its top position in the U.S. (see Apple Primed to Regain Lead in U.S. Smartphone Market)

Also, according to a recent survey, iPhone 4S owners are more satisfied using their phones than the iPhone 4 users. (see iPhone 4S Beats iPhone 4 in Customer Survey, Augurs Well for Holiday Sales) The Siri digital assistant has had a big role in iPhone 4S’ outstanding ratings, and if Apple continues to build innovative technologies for easier customer use and surprises its competition, it will stay ahead of the pack.

However, we believe looking forward that Apple will need to launch the iPhone more quickly than waiting 16 months with the 4S release, especially as competition intensifies. (see Samsung Overtakes Apple, Can iPhone 4S Reverse This Trend?)

The iPhone alone accounts for 53% of our $502 price estimate for Apple, which is 30% over market price. So, market share gains in this division alone should help Apple more than for any other division. We expect iPhone to have a 5% market share in the global phone market by the end of 2011, and expect it to increase to around 10% by 2015.

Tweak the forecast line in the chart above and see the impact of iPhone’s market share on Apple’s price estimate.

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  1. iPhone 4S best-selling phone at three top U.S. carriers in November, Samsung sales strong,, December 6th, 2011 []