There has been a tug-of-war between Samsung and Apple for the top US smartphone vendor spot for some time. Not only are the companies closely matched in terms of sales figures, they tend to release their major products in different quarters: Apple launching its new iPhones in the latter half of the year, and Samsung releasing its Galaxy S flagships during the first. This leads to peaks and troughs for both companies, which regularly sees them cross over in terms of US smartphone shipments.

Despite Samsung remaining the top dog in the global smartphone market in Q3 2017, research company Strategy Analytics suggests that Apple has once again regained the top spot position for the US.

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Samsung shipped an estimated 9.9 million phones in the US for Q3 2017 compared to Apple’s 12 million iPhones. This resulted in a 30.4 percent market share for Apple versus 25.1 percent market share for Samsung, thus ending Samsung’s reported two-quarter run as the top smartphone vendor in the US.

Though Apple will almost certainly lead Q4 2017 also, competition between the two companies is fiercer, and more complicated, than ever. Apple just launched its tenth anniversary iPhone, the iPhone X, which is probably going to become one of the biggest selling smartphones ever, while Samsung stands to earn potentially billions of dollars from the phone thanks to its partnership with Apple as a components supplier.

Samsung may now struggle to climb back to the top US smartphone vendor spot until after the release of its Galaxy S9 next year.

Scott Adam Gordon

Scott Adam Gordon is a European correspondent for Android Authority. Follow him on Twitter and Google+ at the links.