Samsung Ousts Apple And Nokia For Top Spot In Total Mobile Phone and Smartphone Shipments

According to the latest report from the International Data Corporation, Samsung has ousted both Apple and Nokia to aquire the top spot in both smartphone and total mobile phone shipments for the first quarter of 2012. This marks the first time since the inception of IDC’s Mobile Phone Tracker that Nokia did not lead the global market in total mobile phone shipments. That’s quite a testament to Samsung’s tremendous growth over the past year, which according to the IDC, was nearly triple in the smartphone category.

Samsung saw a staggering 267% increase in smartphone shipments and marketshare over the past year, bumping juggernaut Apple to the second position in the worldwide smartphone market.

“The race between Apple and Samsung remained tight during the quarter, even as both companies posted growth in key areas,” said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Phone Technology and Trends program. “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.”

Samsung and Apple look to maintain their leads into Q2 but it will be interesting to see how much, if any, companies such as HTC can manage to scrape away with their latest smartphone offerings.

The IDC published a few smartphone vendor highlights to give us a brief look into the state of the top vendors:

  • Samsung reclaimed the smartphone leadership position and established a new market record for the number of smartphones shipped in a single quarter. Propelling the company forward was continued expansion of its Galaxy portfolio in nearly all directions – new and old smartphones, product and market segmentation, and multiple price points, screen sizes, and processor speeds.
  • Apple slipped to second place in the worldwide smartphone market, but nonetheless posted strong year-over-year growth to reach 35.1 million units shipped. Apple’s gains in the market benefited from iPhone availability at additional mobile operators worldwide, as well as sustained end-user demand among both consumers and enterprise users.
  • Nokia’s Symbian phone shipments declined precipitously last quarter as demand dropped in key emerging markets, such as China. The company’s current smartphone woes make a speedy transition to products powered by the Windows Phone operating system, upon which it has bet its smartphone future, critical.
  • Research In Motion’s BlackBerry unit decline continued last quarter, reaching levels not seen since 2009. Like Nokia, RIM is a company in transition. Smartphones running on its new platform, BB 10, will be released later this year. Until then, results like these may be a sign of things to come.
  • HTC’s struggles in the U.S. market once again negatively affected its overall performance. However, its relatively strong performance in Asia/Pacific still allowed the company to maintain its position among the top 5 smartphone vendors. The company is staking future success in large part on its One X and S products.

Overall, the mobile phone market declined 1.5% year over year in Q1 2012 while the the worldwide smartphone market grew 42.5% year over year in Q1 2012. This shows the rapid push from carriers to get consumers into smartphones and costly data plans as they boost revenue for network improvements such as LTE.

For a complete look at the IDC report, follow the source link below.