Data from Q4 2012 has revealed that for the first time ever, Apple overtook Samsung as the top US mobile phone maker.
Strategy Analytics stated that following its debut of the iPhone 5 in September last year, Apple shipped an estimated 17.7 million handsets in the US, scoring a market share of 34 per cent.
Meanwhile, Samsung slipped into second place, shipping 16.8 million devices with a market share just shy of its arch rival, managing 32 per cent.
Both firms showed healthy gains on the previous year however, with Apple building from the 25 per cent market share it held in 2011.
Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said: "This was a good performance from Samsung, as its market share rose five points from 27 per cent a year earlier, but it was not enough to hold off a surging Apple."
However, Mawston believes that Samsung will be preparing to fight back with the expected launch of its Galaxy S4 smartphone.
"Samsung had been the number one mobile phone vendor in the U.S. since 2008, and it will surely be keen to recapture that title in 2013 by launching improved new models such as the rumoured Galaxy S4," said Mawston.
Whilst Apple may have taken the Q4 crown, Samsung was the clear winner throughout the rest of 2012 as it led in both shipments and market share.
Apple’s shipments were likely boosted by the late release of its iPhone 5 device, matched with the strong seasonal demand for smartphones from Christmas shoppers.