By 2 May 2012 | Categories: news


At the beginning of this week, market research firm Strategy Analytics (SA) revealed that Samsung had dethroned Nokia as the world’s top mobile phone vendor. Now, the International Data Corporation’s (IDC’s) latest research shows that the Korean tech giant also breezed past Apple to claim the smartphone crown.  

According to the IDC, the worldwide smartphone market grew by 42.5% year-on-year during Q1 2012, as Samsung overtook Apple once more to become the leading smartphone vendor worldwide. Smartphone makers shipped 144.9 million smartphones in Q1 compared to 101.7 million units for the same period last year.

“The race between Apple and Samsung remained tight during the quarter, even as both companies posted growth in key areas,” stated Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Phone Technology and Trends program.

“Apple launched its popular iPhone 4S in additional key markets, most notably in China, and Samsung experienced continued success from its Galaxy Note smartphone/tablet and other Galaxy smartphones. With other companies in the midst of major strategic transitions, the contest between Apple and Samsung will bear close observation as hotly-anticipated new models are launched.”

Table: IDC  Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker - 1 May 2012
IDC echoes SA’s sentiments: Samsung dethrones Espoo

Unlike the brimming smartphone market, the global mobile phone market is on the decline. According to the IDC the mobile market decreased by 1.5% year-on-year during Q1 of 2012, as Samsung bested longtime leader Nokia to become the world’s mobile phone maker.

The company’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker data shows that vendors shipped 398.4 million devices in Q1 compared to 404.3 million units during the same period last year.

Like SA, the IDC stated that Nokia has been at the top for a while, every year in fact since the company kicked off its Mobile Phone Tracker service in 2004. Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker program, explained that Samsung’s growth is mainly the result of its steady gains in the smartphone market over the last couple of years.
Table: IDC  Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker - 1 May 2012
“The halcyon days of rapid growth in the smartphone market have been good to Samsung,” Restivo said. “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.”

In related news, Samsung is expected to unveil the hotly anticipated Galaxy SIII smartphone this week, likely powered by the company’s latest Exynos application processor, the quad-core 1.4 GHz Exynos 4 Quad.


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