Samsung overtakes Apple as top smartphone vendor – IDC

2 May 2012

Samsung overtook Apple in smartphone shipments in the first quarter of 2012, making it the top global smartphone vendor, according to new research.

According to IDC, Samsung shipped 42.2m units in the first quarter of 2012, taking a 29.1pc marketshare. Meanwhile, Apple shipped 35.1m units during the same period, making up 24.2pc of the smartphone market.

In the same period in the previous year, Samsung had an 11.3pc share of the market, compared to Apple’s 18.3pc share.

This reflects recent figures from Juniper Research, which also stated that Samsung has taken the top spot from Apple in the global smartphone market, though it said Apple still made more revenue than Samsung. Samsung also became the top overall mobile vendor, which includes smartphones and feature phones, overtaking Nokia in this market.

Samsung’s growth is due to its gains in the smartphone market over the last two years, according to Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker.

“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,” said Restivo.

In total, the worldwide smartphone market grew 42.5pc year-over-year in the first quarter of 2012. Vendors shipped 144.9m smartphones in this quarter, compared to 101.7m in the same quarter in 2012.

Top 5 mobile vendors

As for other mobile vendors, Nokia took up an 8.2pc share of the market in the first quarter, dropping from a 23.8pc share in the same period last year. Nokia recently moved to using Windows Phone as its primary mobile OS and IDC said a speedy transition to Windows Phone smartphones is ‘critical’ for the company.

RIM declined from a 13.6pc market share in the first quarter of 2011 to a 6.7pc share in the same period in 2012. IDC said this trend is unlikely to change until RIM releases its new platform BlackBerry 10 at the end of the year.

HTC dropped from an 8.9pc market share to a 4.8pc share over the same period. According to IDC, it struggled in the US market during this time, though remained relatively strong in the Asia/Pacific region. It also noted HTC’s strategy change, which will see it focus on its HTC One range of products to win back consumers.