FORTUNE -- If you thought the long green line at the top of the attached chart represented the burst of iPhone sales last quarter following the release of Apple's (AAPL) new models, you could be forgiven. But you would be wrong.
When the NPD Group surveyed 5,000 American smartphone owners 18 and older last quarter, it didn't ask them what phone they just bought or were planning to purchase. It asked them what phone they owned.
And 42% said they owned an iPhone.
The burst of sales last quarter probably helped push that number up from 35% a year ago. Samsung ownership also grew, from 22% to 26%. Google's (GOOG) Motorola, Blackberry (BBRY) and HTC all saw their U.S. installed base shrink.
Still, the fact that iPhone penetration among U.S. smartphone owners has reached 42% is pretty striking, especially given Apple's diminishing share of the world smartphone market.
There are two ways of looking at that fact:.
CORRECTION: As several readers have pointed out, NPD's claim is not that that 42% of adult Americans have iPhones, but that 42% of adult American smartphone users have iPhones. An early version had it as "better than four in 10 adult Americans own iPhones" when the correct percentage is 25% (0.42 x 0.60 = 0.252)
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One hot new smartphone is now "readily available" for Christmas. The other ain't.
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Can the collapse of RIM, Nokia and LG be predicted down to the quarter?
FORTUNE -- Updating a chart he first posted last year (see here and here), Asymco's Horace Dediu on Monday tried to estimate how long three badly wounded veterans of the smartphone wars -- Research in Motion (RIMM), Nokia (NOK) and LG -- might survive.
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Among the major vendors, Samsung captured 26%, HTC took 1%, and the rest lost money
FORTUNE -- Asymco's Horace Dediu on Thursday updated his quarterly review of mobile phone profits, and the news for everyone but Apple (AAPL) and Samsung is not good.
Apple is in roughly the same position it was last quarter, with an 8.8% share of the market in terms of units shipped (according to IDC) and a share MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 3, 2012 7:48 AM ET
Just in time for this week's Mobile World Congress, a snapshot of where the money goes
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Most conventional graphs display data over just two axes, X and Y. If you want to see how the data in those dimensions change over time, you end up having to draw a MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 15, 2011 7:10 AM ET
The sharp rise of one of Apple's frenemies triggers a fierce debate about what it means
Some of the most intelligent conversations on the Internet these days are to be found in the comment stream of Horace Dediu's Asymco blog. Not only does Dediu produce striking charts and graphs from his analysis of the mobile phone market, but he carefully moderates the subsequent discussion, pruning repetitive comments and chasing out the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 1, 2011 6:41 AM ET
The iPhone last quarter took in 5.6% of unit sales and 66.3% of the profit
Some readers complained when we ran a similar headline almost a year ago, accompanied by the bottom chart at right.
At the time, Apple (AAPL) had a 3% share of the global mobile phone market but was taking 39% of the profit -- a situation that didn't seem to bode well for its competitors.
Since then, the imbalance MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 30, 2011 7:26 AM ET
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