Samsung rules smartphone roost


Smartphone shipments exceed 200 million in Q4 2012, with Samsung again at the top, while Apple and Nokia announce strong results

Samsung has continued with phenomenal growth over 2012, shipping 63 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2012 and accounting for one in three smartphone sales over the course of the year. The number of smartphone shipments exceeded 200 million in the fourth quarter 2012, with the annual total reaching 671 million, representing a growth of almost 42% year on year, stated Juniper Research.

Samsung continued rapid growth over the year, shipping over 30% of all smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter, Juniper claimed. Once again, sales of the Galaxy S3 drove growth, with sales surpassing 40 million in November 2012.

However, despite the festive season and iPhone 5 sales, Apple posted lower than expected iPhone sales at around 47.8 million, still a record quarter for the company. With Samsung leading the market, Apple will need to continue focussing on innovation, whilst retaining its brand leadership, warned Juniper.

Nokia meanwhile shipped 6.6 million smart devices in the fourth quarter, with the new Lumia line still to make a significant impact with shipments of 4.4 million. Nokia's Symbian-based handsets experienced a large decline, reaching 2.2 million.

Overall, the Finnish company made a $3 billion loss for the year, but posted a profit of $586 million for the fourth quarter 2012. Smartphone shipments reached 35 million in 2012 compared to just over 77 million in 2011, down by 54%.

RIM's recent results, which run to a different financial schedule, are expected to account for almost 6.7 million smartphone shipments for the fourth quarter and over 31 million for the year. With the release and launch of BlackBerry 10 and a new line of smartphones just a few days away, the Canadian company will struggle to gain back a significant market share in 2013, Juniper said.

Huawei posted impressive sales in 2012, with the introduction of a range of new smartphones and tablets, posting sales revenues of over $35 billion. The company introduced over 23 models of smartphone devices and is estimated to have shipped almost 20 million smartphones in 2012.

While other smartphone vendors, including LG and ZTE, have managed to maintain their smartphone market shares, they are still facing challenges when competing against the premium brands, noted Juniper. Similar to Samsung, these vendors are introducing a number of new product ranges and marketing activities to maintain their visibility in the market.


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