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4 February 2013

Smartphone shipment growth slows from 64% in 2011 to 43% in 2012, as Q4 grows 38% year-on-year

Global smartphone shipments grew 43% annually from 490.5 million units in 2011 to a record 700.1 million units in 2012, according to a report from Strategy Analytics’ Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service. Samsung was the star performer, capturing 30% marketshare worldwide and extending its lead over Apple and Nokia.

Table. Smartphone vendor shipments and market share in Q4/2012.

Smartphone vendor shipments (millions) Q4 /11 2011 Q4 /12 2012
Samsung 36.5 97.4 63.0 213.0
Apple 37.0 93.0 47.8 135.8
Nokia 19.6 77.3 6.6 35.0
Others 63.9 222.8 99.6 316.3
Total 157.0 490.5 217.0 700.1
Smartphone vendor market share % Q4 /11 2011 Q4 /12 2012
Samsung 23.2% 19.9% 29.0% 30.4%
Apple 23.6% 19.0% 22.0% 19.4%
Nokia 12.5% 15.8% 3.0% 5.0%
Others 40.7% 45.4% 45.9% 45.2%
Total growth year-on-year % 55.9% 63.8% 38.2% 42.7%

“Shipment growth slowed from 64% in 2011 to 43% in 2012 as penetration of smartphones began to mature in developed regions such as North America and Western Europe,” says senior analyst Neil Shah. Quarterly shipments were 217 million units in Q4/2012, up 38% year-on-year from 157 million in Q4/2011.

Samsung shipped a record 213 million smartphones worldwide and captured 30% marketshare in 2012. “This was the largest number of units ever shipped by a smartphone vendor in a single year, beating Nokia’s previous all-time record when it shipped 100.1 million units during 2010,” notes executive director Neil Mawston. “Despite tough competition in stores and courtrooms, Samsung continued to deliver numerous hit models, from the high-end Galaxy Note2 phablet to the mass-market Galaxy Y,” Mawston adds. Apple grew a healthy 46% annually and shipped 135.8 million smartphones worldwide for 19% marketshare in 2012, broadly flat from the 19% recorded in 2011. “Apple had a strong year in developed regions like North America, but this was offset partly by its limited presence in high-growth emerging markets such as Africa.” 

Samsung and Apple together accounted for half of all smartphones shipped worldwide in 2012. “Large marketing budgets, extensive distribution channels and attractive product portfolios have enabled Samsung and Apple to tighten their grip on the smartphone industry,” says analyst Linda Sui. The growth of Samsung and Apple has continued to impact Nokia. Nokia retained its position as the world’s third largest smartphone vendor for full-year 2012, but its global marketshare has dropped sharply from 16% to 5% during the past year. “Nokia’s Windows Phone portfolio has improved significantly in recent months, with new models like the Lumia 920, but we believe the vendor still lacks a true hero model in its range that can be considered an Apple iPhone or Samsung S3 killer,” Sui concludes. 

Tags: Smartphone shipments


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