Report: 2/3 of top U.S. carrier sales in Q1 were iPhones

A new report from analysts at Wireless Intelligence shows that Apple’s iPhone is continuing to gain market share in U.S. smartphones sales.

The report, issued Thursday, looks at sales information reported by the largest U.S. carriers and determined that during the first three months of 2012, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint collectively sold 9 million iPhones. Altogether, those same three carriers sold 13.5 million smartphones, which means that for every three smartphones they sold, two of them were iPhones.

These figures don’t match up with a recent survey done by NPD that shows Android smartphones account for about 61 percent of all smartphones in the U.S while iPhones account for 29 percent.

But they do match up with what carriers reported earlier this quarter. AT&T is riding the iPhone wave specifically when it comes to smartphones sales — 4.3 million of the 5.5 million smartphones it sold during the first quarter of the year were made by Apple. Verizon reported somewhat lower numbers: 3.2 million iPhones, but that was about half of all of its smartphone sales for the quarter. Sprint, the newest iPhone carrier in the U.S. sold 1.5 million iPhones, which was about 76 percent of all smartphones during the quarter, according to Wireless Intelligence.

For all three of these operators, their number of iPhone sales are lower in the first three months of 2012 than they were in the last three months of 2011. The fourth quarter of 2011 was notable though because it included both the launch of the iPhone 4S as well as the holiday shopping period.

So while overall numbers of iPhones weren’t as high for the first quarter as they were for the last, these numbers show that the iPhone is still the most important device that these carriers are selling when it comes to retaining and recruiting customers.

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