Samsung, Apple dominate 4th quarter smartphone sales
Jan 25, 2013 (Austin American-Statesman - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. continued to dominate the global smartphone market in the final quarter of 2012, but Samsung grew faster, according to the International Data Corp., which tracks the global market.
Samsung shipped 63.7 million smartphones in the fourth quarter, an increase of 76 percent from the year before, while Apple shipped a company-record 47.8 million, a 29.2 percent increase. Together the two companies made up just over half of the global smartphone market.
The total smartphone market in the quarter was 219.4 million units, up 36.4 percent from 2011. That represented 45.5 percent of the total mobile phone market, the highest percentage ever, IDC said.
The remaining companies among the top five vendors were: China's Huawei, 10.8 million; Sony Corp., 9.8 million; and China's ZTE, 9.5 million.
While Apple shipped a record number of phones in the quarter, the company missed investor targets on financial performance when it reported its financial results on Wednesday, causing its stock price to drop by $63.51 a share, or 12.3 percent, on Thursday.
For all of 2012, Samsung shipped 215.8 million smartphones for a 30.3 percent share , while Apple shipped 135.9 million units, for a 19.1 percent share. Nokia a long-time leader in mobile phone sales, ranked third with 35.1 million units, but that represented a 54.6 percent decline from 2011.
The global market for smartphones rose 44.1 percent for the year to 712.6 million units.
By comparison the global mobile phone market was 1.74 billion units, up just 1.2 percent.
"The high-growth smartphone market, though dominated by Samsung and Apple, still presents ample opportunities for challengers," said IDC analyst Kevin Restivo. "Vendors with unique market advantages, such as lower-cost devices, can rapidly gain share, especially in emerging markets."
Analysts say Samsung's massive semiconductor factory in Northeast Austin supplies application processor chips for both Apple and Samsung smartphones as well as other smart mobile devices.
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