Apple shipped 17.7 million units during the period compared to Samsung's 16.8 million shipments over the same space of time, giving Apple a 34% market share compared to Samsung's 32.3%. Incredibly, these stats also account for sales of Samsung's cheaper "feature phones", meaning Apple's relatively small premium smartphone range held out against more affordable units from Samsung.
Samsung had been US market leader since 2008.
"Apple has become the number one mobile phone vendor by volume in the United States for the first time ever," said Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston.
"Apple's success has been driven by its popular ecosystem of iPhones and App Store, generous carrier subsidies, and extensive marketing around the new iPhone 5 model."
Rumours of a cheap iPhone model have consistently reared their heads recently, but when faced with figures like this, with the premium iPhone still outselling both Samsung's top-end models and cheaper devices, you'd have to wonder why the Cupertino company would bother. As we've suggested previously, any low-priced iPhone would cannibalise sales of the more expensive handsets. That would result in reduced profit margins, reducing Apple's total income, considering the iPhone is the company's best-selling product. A second-tier iPhone would also smudge the premium brand image.