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IDC: Apple climbs two spots to become world's third-largest mobile phone maker

post #1 of 19
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Record sales of the iPhone pushed Apple past ZTE and LG to become the third-largest handset vendor in the world, according to a new analysis from IDC.

The market intelligence firm released its Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker results for the December quarter on Wednesday, noting a 6.1 percent increase in the market from a year ago. IDC estimated worldwide shipments of 427.4 million shipments during the period surpassed the research group's expectations of 4.4 percent growth for the quarter.

The growth was, however, significantly lower than the third quarter of 2011, which saw 9.3 percent growth. IDC senior research analyst Kevin Restivo called the figures "unusually low" and cited "weaker macroeconomic conditions" around the world. The analyst did point out that Apple's launch of the iPhone 4S played a key part in the market's growth last quarter.

"The introduction of high-growth products such as the iPhone 4S, which shipped in the fourth quarter, bolstered smartphone growth. Yet overall market growth fell to its lowest point since 3Q09 when the global economic recession was in full bloom," Restivo said.

IDC placed Nokia at the top of mobile phone vendors with estimated shipments of 113.5 million units during the fourth quarter of 2011, down 8.2 percent from a year ago. South Korea's Samsung came in second with estimated shipments of 97.6 million units, up 20.9 percent year over year. Apple posted an impressive 128.4 percent growth with shipments of 37 million iPhones, giving it an 8.7 percent share of the market.


Source: IDC


Rounding out the top five, LG saw shipments erode from 30.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2010 to 17.7 million phones in the most recent quarter, while Chinese handset maker ZTE had 17.1 million.

For all of the top five handset vendors except Apple, feature phones represented the majority of mobile phone shipments. But, feature phones sales are expected to decline. Senior research analyst Ramon Llamas noted that the low-cost handsets are "fighting to maintain their market share." According to him, handset makers are adding features like mobile Internet and third-party applications to their feature phones in order to slow the decline.

IDC's results are roughly in line with the numbers Strategy Analytics released last week, though IDC's estimates put worldwide quarterly sales at 427.4 million compared to Strategy Analytics' estimate of 445 million. As a result, IDC assigns a larger market share (8.7 percent) to Apple, which releases its numbers publicly. Apple was also pronounced the No. 1 smartphone maker by Strategy Analytics last week, with Samsung narrowly coming in second with estimates of 36.5 million units shipped.

The December quarter was Apple's most profitable quarter ever with record sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs. “Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline,” said CEO Tim Cook.
post #2 of 19
Amazing that a company that only produces smartphones, only high-end smartphones (non-feature phones) and only produces one new model a year can have this much volume. I didn't think it was possible but this sort of growth rate makes me think Apple will dominate an even higher percentage of the world's profit from handsets this year.

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post #3 of 19
All of this, with just the iPhone!

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post #4 of 19
8.7% market-share with a single, high-end phone. that is insane.
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post

8.7% market-share with a single, high-end phone. that is insane.

3 phones. One high end, one midmarket, one free.

And in China, even the 4S is free, isn't it?

Apple deserves lots of credit. But it is not true that Apple makes only one phone, nor is it true that all Apple phones are premium-priced.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

3 phones. One high end, one midmarket, one free.

And in China, even the 4S is free, isn't it?

Apple deserves lots of credit. But it is not true that Apple makes only one phone, nor is it true that all Apple phones are premium-priced.

One new model PER YEAR. The fact that an iPhone released in 2008 is outselling competitors with newer LTE phones and 4.5" displays while Apple is getting paid more from carriers per unit is a completely different situation.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Amazing that a company that only produces smartphones, only high-end smartphones (non-feature phones) and only produces one new model a year can have this much volume. I didn't think it was possible but this sort of growth rate makes me think Apple will dominate an even higher percentage of the world's profit from handsets this year.

I wonder what slap-happy will say about this? Apple's obviously doomed. /s
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post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I wonder what slap-happy will say about this? Apple's obviously doomed. /s

Samsung will bury Apple this year. Clearly the ads are working. In less than 2 years Samsung has surpassed Apple in mobile sales. 2012 is the beginning of the end of Apple's impressive run. With more wins like this, the inevitable domination of Android will happen! Add all the other Android manufacturers and the reality that fans here hide from shows how much a small market iOS really is.

I hope I used enough generic smile emoticons. Did the above make you want to throw a live fish at a brick wall again and again? Because that's how I feel when I read his posts that include those smiles.

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post #9 of 19
At least Apple is ahead of LG. Developers should reconsider supporting a market that is a minuscule 8% worldwide. I doubt iOS will reach 10% by years end since Samsung has really stepped up their innovation. Even surpassing Apple in hardware and software.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

At least Apple is ahead of LG. Developers should reconsider supporting a market that is a minuscule 8% worldwide. I doubt iOS will reach 10% by years end since Samsung has really stepped up their innovation. Even surpassing Apple in hardware and software.

Slap-happy, you might want to re-think your position.

Apple has 8.7% of ALL phone shipments. As the article says, most phones sold are feature phones which do not interest Apple at all. Apple's share of smart phones is much higher (approaching 50%, IIRC).

Not to mention, of course, that there are more important numbers than unit sales if you're a developer. You might be more concerned about how much money each user spends (Apple wins hands down) or how much money you will receive (again, Apple wins hands down).
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post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Apple's share of smart phones is much higher (approaching 50%, IIRC).

Thought it was in the 20s? Apple has over 50% of all phone PROFITS, however. That's all phones, not just smartphones.

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post #12 of 19
AI could have posted IDC's full year results. Just as interesting.




Apple's record 4th quarter has managed to bump them up to third for the full year.

Despite Samsung's mega smartphone growth they only gained 1.2% overall market share.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Thought it was in the 20s? Apple has over 50% of all phone PROFITS, however. That's all phones, not just smartphones.

Latest figure was 44% of smartphone users:
http://gigaom.com/2012/01/18/its-no-...ndroid-in-u-s/

Keep in mind that that doesn't include iPad. So if you're talking about total OS share (not just phones), the number is higher than 44%.
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post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Latest figure was 44% of smartphone users:
http://gigaom.com/2012/01/18/its-no-...ndroid-in-u-s/

Keep in mind that that doesn't include iPad. So if you're talking about total OS share (not just phones), the number is higher than 44%.

Let's get this right!

Your link is US data only.

We will have more info in a few days when IDC and Gartner release more figures. However... iPhone will end up with about 23-25% global share in Q4. That should give them around 19%+ for all of 2011.
post #15 of 19
You are such a good source of entertainment


Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

Developers should reconsider supporting a market that is a minuscule 8% worldwide.

Poor Deveopers. Why they are not listening to Slappy? Why they are using common sense? Why are they developing for a platform where people actually spend money and not for the platform where the moto is everything should be free and open? The Developers are also Doomed


Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

Samsung has really stepped up their innovation.

Like - using the same Model from Apple's commercials?

BTW: I haven't seen any of the most cutting edge Samsung Tech in public - the copiers they use for copying Apple/Nokia/BB products.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post

8.7% market-share with a single, high-end phone. that is insane.

And China just getting started!
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post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Thought it was in the 20s? Apple has over 50% of all phone PROFITS, however. That's all phones, not just smartphones.

I must admit I'd read that as meaning 50% of smart phone profits! I guess to top every oil company in market cap it had to be all phones now I think about it. Simply staggering!
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post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

At least Apple is ahead of LG. Developers should reconsider supporting a market that is a minuscule 8% worldwide. I doubt iOS will reach 10% by years end since Samsung has really stepped up their innovation. Even surpassing Apple in hardware and software.

Those stupid developers not supporting dumb phones¡ \

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I must admit I'd read that as meaning 50% of smart phone profits! I guess to top every oil company in market cap it had to be all phones now I think about it. Simply staggering!

And from what I see it's just going to get wider. Apple has 1/3 of all PC profits and that's without including the iPad as a PC.

Samsung is the only one who is doing well and they are so far below Apple that they are closer to the handset vendors barely staying in the black than to Apple.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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