Friday Apple Rumors: iPhone Increases U.S. Smartphone Lead

But Google's Android continues to lead in Europe

daily apple rumors AAPLHere are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:

Big Boost: Strong sales of the iPhone 5 have lifted Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) share of the U.S. smartphone market past 50%, MacRumors noted. Industry research firm Kantar Worldpanel found that the iPhone accounted for 53.3% of the U.S. smartphone market from September through November, compared to 41.9% for devices running Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system. That marks an improvement from the 48.1% share Apple held from August through October, against Android’s 46.7%. The September through November data represents the first time Apple has passed 50% of the domestic smartphone market. In Europe, by contrast, Apple accounts for just 25.3% of that market, compared to 61% for Android during the period. From September through November, smartphones running on Microsoft‘s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone and devices from Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) accounted for 2.7% and 1.4% of the domestic smartphone market, respectively.

Will Apple TV Be Steve Jobs’ ‘Salmon of Doubt’?
Will Apple TV Be Steve Jobs’ ‘Salmon of Doubt’?

Ban Reconsidered: Apple is appealing a recent decision by a California court not to ban the sales of several Samsung mobile devices found to violate Apple patents, USA Today notes. Earlier this week, Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the patent infringement lawsuit that resulted in a $1 billion jury award against Samsung, rejected a ban on Samsung devices, noting that only some of their features infringed on Apple patents and citing potential harm to consumers. Apple has now appealed Koh’s ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Koh also dismissed Samsung’s request for a new trial over alleged misconduct by the jury foreman.

TV Needed: An analyst says for Apple to maintain its growth it needs to launch its own TV set, as well as a lower-cost iPhone, BGR notes. Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi warns that without an Apple-branded TV to boost sales, Apple’s earnings growth could slow to single digits. While Sacconaghi expected iPhone sales to remain high for at least two years, he thinks Apple needs to release a cheaper iPhone to keep up with competitors like Samsung. As tablet computer sales continue to grow, Sacconaghi calls the iPad “an absolute juggernaut.” Still, Sacconaghi lowered his price target for Apple for next year from $800 to $750 a share.

For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.

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