The only other manufacturer in NPD's report to see a market share gain in 2013 was LG.
iPhone market share rose from 35 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 to 42 percent at in Q4 2013. Meanwhile Samsung saw its Android phones gain as well, rising from 22 percent in Q4 2012 to 26 percent in Q4 2013.
Together, the two top players in the U.S. market -- Samsung remains the top cell phone, not just smartphone, manufacturer in the world -- share over 2/3 of the U.S. smartphone market (68 percent).
Additionally, NPD noted, smartphone penetration has increased from 52 percent in Q4 2012 to about 60 percent in Q4 2013. That means only 40 percent of U.S. still eschew smartphones for more prosaic feature phones or cell phones.
As goes smartphone penetration, so goes consumers’ data usage. Average American data usage rose from 5.5GB per month in Q4 2012 to 6.6GB per month in Q4 2013, the firm found.
NPD Executive Director John Buffone said, in a statement:
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.
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 acquired its data through a survey of some 4,500 U.S. smartphone users.
Notably, however, the data did not include the month of December and thus also didn't include last minute holiday shopping. The data was collected between September and November 2013. 2012's data was also collected during those months.