Samsung has surpassed Nokia to gain the title of World’s top mobile phone vendor. The mobile phone market declined 1.5% worldwide in first quarter of 2012 (1Q2012). According to IDC, mobile phone vendors shipped 404.3 million units in 1Q2011 and this dropped to 398.4 million in 1Q2012.
Samsung’s rise in the global mobile phone market is largely due to the gains in the smartphone market during the last two years. “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.” – Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC
Samsung also overtook Apple for the Top Smartphone Vendor worldwide. The worldwide smartphone market saw nothing but growth during the last year with market growth of 42.5%. Vendors shipped 101.7 million units in 1Q11 compared to 144.9 million smartphones in 1Q12.
Smartphone Vendor Highlights (IDC)
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.