(Sorry Apple): Samsung KING Smart & “Dumb” Phones


Its official: Samsung is now No.1 smartphone and mobile, knocking Nokia AND Apple off their thrones.

20120517100234d3150 300x300 (Sorry Apple): Samsung KING Smart & Dumb Phones
Two horse race: iPhone V Samsung Galaxy S II

Samsung has dethroned Nokia to became the world’s top mobile maker in Q1 2012 (a position the Symbian maker held since 1998), but also knocked Apple off the top spot in the high end smartphone race, analysts Gartner confirmed.

Samsung’s mobile phone sales hit 86.6 million – a massive 25.9% jump from last year and now accounts for every one in five mobiles sold.

Nokia still managed to get the No.2 spot, however, with 83.1 m sales.

This figure was much lower than estimates by Strategy Analytics, who crowned Samsung as the phone industry’s “star performer” last month after it was believed to have sold a massive 93.5 m handsets in Q1 ’12. (Samsung does not release the precise number of handsets sold).

But although knocked off the top spot, Apple still grew a whopping 96% following the release of iPhone 4S, selling 33.1 m iPhones and massive sales in China, now its No. 2 market outside the US.

Although iPhone sales grew phenomenally, it wasn’t enough to prevent the Galaxy S II maker from becoming the king of smartphones.

“Samsung took back the world’s No. 1 smartphone position from Apple, selling 38 million smartphones worldwide,” Gartner confirmed.

Google’s Android OS was also a winner – accounting for more than 50% of all smarties sold (56.1%) globally in the first three months 2012.

And it looks like Samsung is also king of Android with sales of its devices, which includes the S II, Y and Nexus on Ice Cream Sandwich, representing over 40% of all Droid sales globally.

Chinese brand ZTE, LG, Huawei and BlackBerry all made it into the top 10.

But significantly, no other Droid Vendor including HTC, LG or Sony achieved more than 10% sales overall. Analysts also noted  most Droid makers are “finding it hard to break the mould” and differenciate their phones in a flooded market. 

But it looks like smarties like the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S II and HTC One X are on all on the up –  with sales soaring a whopping 45%, which suggests high end devices are now eating into basic or ‘dumb’ phones marketshare.


“Smartphone sales are becoming of paramount importance at a worldwide level,” Gartner analyst, Anshul Gupta, confirmed.

Smartphones contributed to almost 44% of Samsung’s overall sales compared to just 16 per cent for Nokia.
Smartie penetration in Australia is a massive 52% – one of the highest in the world.

Sales of high end handsets continued to drive mobile growth overall, reaching 144.4 million in Q1, up 44.7% year-over-year, Gartner confirmed.

However, sales of basic mobile or what Samsung refers to as “dumb” phones dropped 2% compared to same time 2011 – to 419.1 million – the first fall since ’09.

And as noted by previous analysts the smartphone market has become a two horse race with the top two vendors, Apple and Samsung, raising their combined share to almost 50%  – a 20% jump on a year ago.

Both iPhone and Samsung devices are widening their lead over Nokia – which saw its smartphone market share drop to 9.2%, Garnet confirmed.

“Global sales of mobile devices declined more than expected due to a slowdown in demand from the Asia/Pacific region,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.

“The first quarter, traditionally the strongest quarter for Asia – driven by Chinese New Year, saw a lack of new product launches, and users delayed upgrades in the hope of better smartphone deals arriving later in the year.”

“White-box” vendors including Nokia seem to have suffered the most during Q1 due to a fall in mobiles sales and were unable to adjust production as demand slumped.

Gartner expects some of this volume to be sold during the next quarters, and anticipates a price drop as retailers look to dispose of stock – good news for consumers on a bargain hunt.

The lower results in Q1 have led us to be cautious about sales for the remainder of the year, said Annette Zimmermann, research analyst at Gartner.


However, the arrival of new versions of the Android Ice Cream Sandwich, Windows Phone OS, and iPhone 5 should drive sales in H2 in Europe and US, Gartner analysts predict.

And it looks like Samsung & Co may have something to worry about in the form of new Chinese manaufacturers like Huawei and ZTE who will stiffen competition, say analysts.

However, it downgraded its estimates for 2012 mobile sales, by 20 million units, saying it “is unavoidable.”

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