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Market researcher Kantar reports iOS continues to lead as the top selling smartphone platform sold in the U.S, with 51.2% of market sales for the 12 week period ending December 23rd, 2012. Some 35% of iOS sales were those upgrading from a previous iPhone and 30% were those upgrading to their first smartphone.

In comparison to the same period last year, Android has remained stable, 44.8% to 44.2%, while Windows remained in third place at 2.6% of smartphones sold in the 12 weeks to December period. In Europe, however, Android retains the highest share with 61% of the market, up from 51.8% a year ago.

On the carrier side, AT&T scored a third of smartphone sales, with Verizon very close with 32-percent, according to Kantar. Sprint is in third with less than half of that number at 14.8-percent.

Strategy Analytics says the Galaxy S3 was the world’s most popular smartphone, holding 10.7 percent of the global smartphone market in the third quarter, selling more than 40 million units. Samsung Electronics said global sales of its Galaxy S smartphone line have now surpassed 100 million. Apple’s iPhone reached the 100-million mark in March 2011, nearly four years after the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007.

ABI Research said on Tuesday that it expects 150 million “phablet” devices will be sold in 2013, accounting for 18 percent of all smartphone sales. Phablets are those measuring between 4.6 and 6.5 inches diagonally across the touchscreen. ABI Research projected that almost 83 million phablets were shipped in 2012, an increase of 4,504% from 2011. A large portion of these shipments can be attributed to the Samsung Galaxy S3 with a 4.8 inch touchscreen.

Global LTE subscribers will pass 100 million in 2013, according to IHS iSuppli, more than doubling the 2012 numbers.

By 2016, LTE will claim more than 1.0 billion users, as shown in the figure above, equivalent to a five-year compound annual growth rate of 139 percent.

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