Apple (AAPL) And Samsung Continue Smartphone Dominance

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Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Samsung, the largest maker of Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android-based smartphones have started 2012 as they ended 2011-far ahead of their competition.

Research firm ChangeWave reports that

The late December survey looked at smart phone demand trends going forward, and finds Apple iPhone demand remains incredibly strong more than two months after the iPhone 4S release.

The survey includes 4,000 Americans.

Among other findings

Apple has never dominated smart phone planned buying to this extent more than two months after a major new release.

The other company burning up the competition is Samsung (13%), which has registered a huge 8-pt surge in planned buying since the previous ChangeWave survey. This represents nearly a tripling of consumer interest in Samsung phones just since fall 2011.

In contrast to Apple’s single phone approach, Samsung has a broad portfolio of Android phones that it continues to expand and refresh, including its flagship Galaxy line.

The just released Galaxy Nexus – the first U.S. 4G phone running Android’s new 4.0 operating system (Ice Cream Sandwich) – appears to be a major driving force behind the leap in Samsung planned buying. Samsung’s 4.0 OS update to some of its most popular models during the 1st Quarter is also heightening consumer interest.

This research means a number of competing companies are left in a hole. That includes Taiwan’s HTC, Motorola Mobility (NASDAQ: MMI) which just announced a poor quarter, Nokia (NYSE: NOK), and Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM)