Samsung overtakes Apple to claim smartphone market share lead

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Despite strong growth year-over-year, Apple ceded its spot as the world's top smartphone vendor in the first quarter of 2012 as Samsung boosted both smartphone and feature phone shipments to record levels.

Estimates released on Tuesday by IDC see Samsung as the global market leader in total phone shipments for the first quarter of 2012, wresting the title away from Nokia for the first time since the inception of the research firm's Mobile Phone Tracker in 2004.

Samsung is said to have ridden a wave of growth in the smartphone sector and shipped 93.8 million phones to take 23.5 percent of the worldwide mobile market. Comparatively, former leader Nokia only shipped 11.9 million units while Apple managed 35.1 million iPhones, which accounted for market shares of 20.8 percent and 8.8 percent, respectively.

"The halcyon days of rapid growth in the smartphone market have been good to Samsung," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker program. "Samsung has used its established relationships with carriers in a mix of economically diverse markets to gain share organically and at the expense of former high fliers such as Nokia."

IDC Smartphone
Source: IDC


Although Samsung doesn't disclose official sales numbers, IDC estimates that the Galaxy S II maker shipped 42.2 million smartphones, a 267 percent increase from 2011's 11.5 million, which accounted for almost half of the company's total phone shipments.

Apple performed well and posted an 88.7 year-over-year change with its 35.1 million iPhone shipments. The Cupertino, Calif., company benefitted from overall growth in the smartphone space as vendors shipped 144.9 million units, a 42.5 percent increase from the year ago quarter 's 101.7 million units.

"The race between Apple and Samsung remained tight during the quarter, even as both companies posted growth in key areas," said IDC Mobile Phone Technology and Trends senior research analyst Ramon Llamas. "Apple launched its popular iPhone 4S in additional key markets, most notably in China, and Samsung experienced continued success from its Galaxy Note smartphone/tablet and other Galaxy smartphones. With other companies in the midst of major strategic transitions, the contest between Apple and Samsung will bear close observation as hotly-anticipated new models are launched."

Chart: Top Five WW Smartphone Vendors, 1Q 2012, Five Quarter Market Share Changes (Units)Description: Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, May 1, 2012Note: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker provides smart phone and feature phone market data in 54 countries by vendor, device type, air interface, operating systems and platforms, and generation. Over 20 additional technical segmentations are provided. The data is provided four times a year and includes historical and forecast trend analysis. For more information, or to subscribe to the research, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 1-650-350-6423 or [email protected] For more information about this tracker go to: http://www.idc.com/tracker/showproductinfo.jsp?prod_id=37Tags: IDC, Tracker, Mobile Phone, Mobile Phones, Mobile Phone Tracker, 1Q201 ...Author: IDCcharts powered by iCharts


Research in Motion continued its decline in smartphone market share to hit levels not seen since 2009. The BlackBerry maker shipped 9.7 million units which accounted for a 29.7 percent drop year-to-year.

Nokia's share fell in both the smartphone and overall mobile markets, suffering declines of 50.8 percent and 23.8 percent, respectively. Total mobile phone shipments for the Finnish telecom reached 82.7 million units for the quarter.

Both RIM and Nokia are in transition as the companies try to keep up with major players Apple and Samsung. The Canadian phone maker has started the countdown on the release of its delayed BlackBerry 10 mobile OS, which is hoped to lure customers back to the platform that was once synonymous with enterprise. Nokia and Microsoft's 2011 deal recently bore fruit as the company released its flagship Lumia 900 Windows Phone in its bid to find a foothold after ditching Symbian-based handsets.

The overall mobile phone market slumped 1.5 percent with shipments dipping from 404.3 million in the first quarter of 2011 to 398.4 million units in the last quarter.

IDC Total
Source: IDC


The IDC report echoes research from Strategy Analytics which also estimated that Samsung would take a sizable chunk of the smartphone market in the first quarter.

Apple and Samsung are seen as running away with the smartphone market, however, and both are poised to make significant gains in the coming year. The two companies are still locked in a worldwide legal battle that spans 10 countries. Most recently a U.S. judge schedule court-moderated settlement talks for May 21-22, though it remains to be seen whether such a meeting will have any effect on the morass of litigation.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 68
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member


    Let's see one of those pie charts showing which company is making the most profit.

  • Reply 2 of 68
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,230member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Let's see one of those pie charts showing which company is making the most profit.



     


    And let's see what happens when the iPhone 5 comes out… that red line will be popping wheelies.

  • Reply 3 of 68
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,196member


    Where the hell are these Samsung phones? I spot a few a week, while I literally see hundreds of iPhones a day, in a wide variety of environments. Are they selling shitloads overseas?

  • Reply 4 of 68
    cycomikocycomiko Posts: 716member


    Cue


     


    "but apple only has one model"


     


    "but who makes all the profit" ohh too slow


     


    "but but..."


     


     

  • Reply 5 of 68
    galaxytabgalaxytab Posts: 122member
    All without the aid of the Galaxy S III.

    Also: MEGALOL @ Nokia. Owned by Samsung and übercool newcomer Apple. Let's see what further damage Microsoft Trojan Elop can do with their WP7 suicide.
  • Reply 6 of 68
    mgleetmgleet Posts: 28member
    Each new estimate contradicts the last.

    There aren't very many reasons to not disclose actual numbers. So, my guess, is that the estimates saying that Samsung didn't best Apple, are the more accurate ones. If Samsung became the #1 smartphone vender in the world, it would probably be gloating to no end. Considering that Apple has around 60% share in the USA, things would need to be very different in most countries for Samsung to beat Apple by itself.

    I find it kinda funny that AppleInsider has posted this estimate as hard fact, at least going off the headline.
  • Reply 7 of 68
    macspottermacspotter Posts: 16member


    Here in Holland everyone below 25 and with a disposable income below average has a Samsung. Everyone else has an iPhone. You hardly see any other brand around.


    As a side note, everyone who currently has a Samsung 'whatever', wants an iPhone but only if screen size was at least slightly larger (up to 4", not larger).

  • Reply 8 of 68
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,230member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    Where the hell are these Samsung phones?



     


    Homeless shelters and remedial schools. The rest sit at home playing Second Life.

  • Reply 9 of 68
    womble2k2womble2k2 Posts: 118member
    Shipped does not equal sold.

    There are hundreds of thousands of stores holding inventory of Samsung phones whilst Apple reports sold devices.

    Apples versus Pears!
  • Reply 10 of 68
    michael scripmichael scrip Posts: 1,912member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    Where the hell are these Samsung phones? I spot a few a week, while I literally see hundreds of iPhones a day, in a wide variety of environments. Are they selling shitloads overseas?



     


    They must be out there. Look at the chart.


     


    You can trust analysts!

  • Reply 11 of 68
    mauszmausz Posts: 243member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by macspotter View Post


    Here in Holland everyone below 25 and with a disposable income below average has a Samsung. Everyone else has an iPhone. You hardly see any other brand around.


    As a side note, everyone who currently has a Samsung 'whatever', wants an iPhone but only if screen size was at least slightly larger (up to 4", not larger).



     


    Here in the Netherlands everyone age 35 and up with a disposable income above average in my area has a Galaxy S II and are very satisfied with it.


     


    So there you have it, a just as irrelevant observation as macspotter.


     


    Never use your own observation and extrapolate it to the entire market. Either ignore global estimates like the IDC makes or accept them as they are the closest you can get. Or just claim 7.2 million Samsung smartphones are sitting in warehouses and are just shipped, and Apple is on top again.


     


    If it evens matters who is in the number one spot, just enjoy the phone you have if you are satisfied with it and let everyone make their own decisions

  • Reply 12 of 68
    pedromartinspedromartins Posts: 1,333member
    i trully believe this. in fact i am surprised that the difference isn't higher..

    you americans don't understand.

    in europe, whole families only have samsung. they trust their fridge and microwave. more than 80% of those that are buying phones bellow 300€ buy samsung. only a few buy smartphones above that.
    not only that, we have very few apple stores available. people still not trust apple that much, they are afraid of spending 600€ for an iPhone.

    obviously it's rare to spot an high end samsung smartphone in the wild, but the ace? even weaker/cheaper models? EVERYONE has them.. entire families..
    they are destroying everyone in the low end. really. they are eating them.

    look at that chart! if things keep going this way… jesus. god help motorola, rim, nokia, htc, sony, lg, etc. they are going down.

    p.s: and google, in case samsung forks android. they have google on their palm. google can't do shit without sammy's approval.
  • Reply 13 of 68
    fuwafuwafuwafuwa Posts: 163member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post



    All without the aid of the Galaxy S III.

    Also: MEGALOL @ Nokia. Owned by Samsung and übercool newcomer Apple. Let's see what further damage Microsoft Trojan Elop can do with their WP7 suicide.


     


    If you're thinking all Samsung smartphone are GS2, Note and alike, you're wrong. There are about 20 Samsung door stop that are called smartphone because they have Android installed in them.

  • Reply 14 of 68
    uguysrnutsuguysrnuts Posts: 459member


    Hmmm...post bait?

  • Reply 15 of 68
    granmastakgranmastak Posts: 298member
    slurpy wrote: »
    <p> Where the hell are these Samsung phones? I spot a few a week, while I literally see hundreds of iPhones a day, in a wide variety of environments. Are they selling shitloads overseas?</p>

    I was in South Korea a few weeks ago and EVERYONE and their mother had one of those giant galaxy bricks. I saw a few iphones and of course even in the land of Samsung having an iPhone is a notch above.
    Not sure how Samsung does in China, probably well
  • Reply 16 of 68
    sol77sol77 Posts: 203member

    Quote:


    "Cue


     


    "but apple only has one model"


     


    "but who makes all the profit" ohh too slow


     


    "but but..."




     


     


    Think about what you wrote.  You're defending bulk over profit and quality?  Do you suppose many people are fans of Apple not because they're cows but because Apple...makes good products and deservedly dominates financially?

     

  • Reply 17 of 68
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member


    Check out samsungusa.com


     


    Samsung has approx. 140 phone SKU's.


     


    Goes nicely with the 130+ TV SKU's.

  • Reply 18 of 68
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member


    So it does prove that Samsung has more sheep than Apple does.


     


    Whew. What a relief.

  • Reply 19 of 68
    mgleetmgleet Posts: 28member
    sol77 wrote: »
    <p> Cue</p><p>  </p><p> "but apple only has one model"</p><p>  </p><p> "but who makes all the profit" ohh too slow</p><p>  </p><p> "but but..."</p><p>  </p><p>  </p><p> Stupid Apple fans.  It's like they think a better company is defined by how much profit it makes and the quality of its products.  They only think that because they're fanboys.<br />  </p>

    The reason I care about sales is because I just hate seeing people use products that I view as junk. There's nothing "fanboy" about wanting others to use the products that you use, particularly when you receive the indirect benefit of greater demand for Apple and developers to create awesome apps and services.
  • Reply 20 of 68
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post



    i trully believe this. in fact i am surprised that the difference isn't higher..

    you americans don't understand.

    in europe, whole families only have samsung. they trust their fridge and microwave. more than 80% of those that are buying phones bellow 300€ buy samsung. only a few buy smartphones above that.

    not only that, we have very few apple stores available. people still not trust apple that much, they are afraid of spending 600€ for an iPhone.

    obviously it's rare to spot an high end samsung smartphone in the wild, but the ace? even weaker/cheaper models? EVERYONE has them.. entire families..

    they are destroying everyone in the low end. really. they are eating them.

    look at that chart! if things keep going this way… jesus. god help motorola, rim, nokia, htc, sony, lg, etc. they are going down.

    p.s: and google, in case samsung forks android. they have google on their palm. google can't do shit without sammy's approval.


     


    Americans understand very well:


     



    • In such a competitive environment the market leader will typically release their product sales.


    • Samsung manufactures poor quality products with return rates as high as 16% according to ITG Investment Group.


    • Cheap, low quality phones don't create brand loyalty.  


    • Poor customer service and lack of local representatives (typically in storefronts).


     


     


    However, ultimately the results this quarter are irrelevant.


     

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