Samsung continues reign as world’s top smartphone vendor with record-breaking sales – report

27 Jul 2012

The Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone

Samsung’s smartphone shipments in Q2 2012 hit 50.5m units – the largest number ever shipped by a smartphone vendor in a single quarter, a recent report from Strategy Analytics says. This puts Samsung clearly ahead of rival Apple with a massive 35pc of the global market share and double Apple’s sales figures.

IDC reported earlier this year that Samsung had overtaken Apple as the world’s leading smartphone vendor, with 29.1pc of the market in Q1. Since then, smartphone shipments have seen slower growth globally, reaching 146.1m units in Q2, according to Strategy Analytics. This marks the industry’s slowest growth rate for almost three years at 32pc.

The slow growth could be down to a maturing penetration, economic woes, or tighter operator upgrade policies, but in Apple’s case, in particular, it could be that fans are holding out for the next iPhone.

The top 3

Samsung is also becoming more profitable in the smartphone market with a record quarterly profit of US$5.86bn on smartphones, Reuters reports.

Together, bitter rivals Samsung and Apple account for half of the market, compared to one-third a year ago, but Samsung is the clear leader as Apple takes a distant second, selling 26m units and accounting for 18pc of the market share.

Nokia trails behind in third place, selling 10.2m smartphones to achieve 7pc of the market share – just less than half of its share of 15pc last year, and the lowest share the Finnish manufacturer has seen in this market in a decade.

The mobile phone market

Overall, mobile phone shipments for Q2 2012 saw a modest 1pc growth, seeing 362m units shipped globally. Of these, Samsung topped the charts again with 92m units, with Nokia pulling up in second with 83.7m units.

Nokia’s feature phone volumes have shown healthy (if single-digit) growth, driven by an expanding portfolio of dual-SIM and Asha models in emerging markets, but this figure marks a decline of 5pc for the ailing manufacturer.

LG’s overall phone shipments almost halved to 13.1m units. Smartphone shipments for the brand are improving, but its declining feature phone sales are letting it down.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic