By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
October 17, 2013

FORTUNE — Apple (AAPL) got some good news Thursday from Verizon (VZ), the first of the big four U.S. carriers to report its Q3 2013 results.

Of the 7.6 million smartphones Verizon activated in the quarter, 3.9 million (51%) were iPhones. That’s up from the same quarter last year, when the iPhone accounted for only 46% of 6.8 million.

Given that the third calendar quarter is traditionally the iPhone’s weakest (because so many customers hold out for rumored new models) the Verizon numbers are surprisingly strong. They also seem to contradict a CIRP report this morning that in the same quarter, Samsung’s phones easily outsold Apple’s.

“These numbers never reconcile exactly,” says Enders Analysis‘ Benedict Evans, who gave Fortune permission to repost this handy chart. Follow @BenedictEvans.

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