Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s second-largest mobile phone maker, maintained its lead in the North American cell phone market last year with a record share, industry data showed Tuesday.
Samsung shipped 58.4 million cell phones in 2010 in the United States and Canada, claiming 30.2 percent of the handset market there, according to the data by market research firm Strategy Analytics, Inc.
The annual market share represents the highest since the company made an entry into the U.S. market in 1997.
On a quarterly basis, Samsung led the North American cell phone market for 10 straight quarters since the third quarter of 2008.
LG Electronics Inc., the world’s third-largest cell phone vendor after its home rival Samsung and Nokia Corp., was the runner-up in the North American market with a 18.9 percent share.
LG’s mobile division posted a loss in the last three quarters despite brisk sales of low-end phones, but it recently released the Optimus series to play catch-up with front-runners.
Research In Motion Ltd., the maker of the BlackBerry, accounted for 11.2 percent of the North American handset market, followed by Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. with 9.2 percent and Apple Inc.’s 9 percent.
In the U.S. market alone, Samsung shipped 55.7 million cell phones in 2010, accounting for 30.5 percent of the U.S. handset market. The company sold 2.7 million mobile phones in Canada, garnering a 25.2 percent market share.
Samsung, once a laggard in the smartphone market, quickly adapted to the fastest-growing segment in the mobile handset industry with Android-based smartphones. It released the Galaxy S smartphone through all major U.S. mobile carriers in 2010 to challenge the runaway success of Apple’s iPhone.