Apple won last year’s smart phone wars, according to data released today by Gartner, CNET reports. Other reports have pointed to Samsung as the leading vendor in 2011, but the research firm placed Apple on top with a 19 percent market share overall. Driven by the iPhone 4S, the fourth quarter was especially strong for Apple with a 23.8 percent share amid sales of 37 million iPhones. And many of those sales came outside the U.S., helping boost the industry as a whole. “Western Europe and North America led most of the smart phone growth for Apple during the fourth quarter of 2011,” Gartner analyst Roberta Cozza said in a statement. “In Western Europe the spike in iPhone sales in the fourth quarter saved the overall smart phone market after two consecutive quarters of slow sales.”

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