Saturday, October 27, 2012

Samsung widens global smartphone lead over Apple; ships double the number

Apple may have the biggest selling single device line - the iPhone - but Samsung, despite legal issues, patent lawsuits, and more, is winning the battle with the consumer.

The news arrived from two different market research firms just as Apple released its fiscal Q4 2012, calendar year Q3 2012 results, which it did on Thursday. First off, Strategy Analytics estimated that Samsung shipped 56.9 million smartphones worldwide in Q3 2012, which amounts to a 35 percent global market share out of the 162 million overall.

Apple, which just reported good - but not great results - in its past quarter, shipped "only" 26.9 million iPhones. That's hardly anything to be upset about, unless you are an analyst looking at Apple's forecast for the holiday quarter, but it is less than half of those Samsung shipped.

Notably, Apple gives out exact figures for its results, and these are estimates. Samsung doesn't give exact figures, though it did announce a fourth straight record quarterly profit ($7.4 billion) on Thursday.

Neil Mawston, Strategy Analytics’ executive director, said in a statement that “This was the largest number of units ever shipped by a smartphone vendor in a single quarter."

Meanwhile, rival market research firm IDC reported similar news. While the figures are slightly different, the overall message is the same: Samsung sold over twice as many smartphones as Apple did.

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IDC estimated that Samsung sold 56.3 million smartphones during Q3 2012. The market research firm estimated a larger number of smartphones sold overall than SA did (179.7 million vs. 162 million), which meant that in IDC's report, Samsung "only" held a 31.3 percent market share overall. Still, the number is more than double that of the iPhone.

Meanwhile, the once-king of cell phones, Nokia, has now fallen out of the top five in smartphone market share, according to IDC. Just last week, Nokia stated it sold just 2.9 million Lumia smartphones in the third quarter and a total of 6.3 million smartphones. That fell short of vendor No. 5, HTC, which shipped 7.3 million smartphones.

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