Apple has been pushed down into third position in the mobile phone market share charts by LG following December sales, according to new research.

Counterpoint Research claims that LG's impressive smartphone sales in the lead up to Christmas saw its overall mobile device market share in the US reach 13 percent in December, rising above Apple's 12 per cent, Yonhap News reports. Samsung remains in the top spot for handset market share, with a total of 33 per cent.

Before the launch of the iPhone 4S, LG electronics had maintained second place in the market share charts, but Apple's new device managed to boost the company enough to push LG into third in the third-quarter of 2011. Now, though, it seems that LG, which saw its Android-based Optimus G pass one million sales across North America last week, has managed to climb back up into the runner-up position once more.

“Optimus G and our other latest smartphones gained popularity in the North American market,” an LG Electronics official has said.

The Next Web notes that the change in mobile market share could come from Google's Nexus 4, which is actually built by LG. If this is the case, Counterpoint's research could be considered misleading. Another factor to take into account is Apple's lack of non-smartphone devices, which are also counted in Counterpoint's data.

A report from Mac360 highlights that having the largest share of the market doesn't mean that Android is winning against Apple in the smartphone war. In fact, author Kate MacKenzie suggests that “Apple is destroying Android from the inside out”, noting that Apple is “demolishing” Android in every other area, including revenue and profits, despite having a significantly smaller market share.

“Apple has managed to capture almost 80 per cent of the entire cellphone industry's profits, leaving the rest to desperate Samsung (which spends nearly 10 times Apple on advertising and promotions),” writes MacKenzie.

MacKenzie also notes that 90 per cent of mobile e-commerce revenue, 80 per cent of mobile gaming revenue and almost 70 per cent of mobile ad viewing comes from iOS devices. This means that iOS developer revenue is about four times more than that made by Android developers.

Analysts have predicted that the launch of the alleged low-cost iPhone could help Apple increase its market share, but, in a recent interview, Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller said that the company wouldn't sacrifice quality for market share.

See also:

Apple should make cheaper iPhone says former CEO John Sculley