Samsung has overtaken Nokia to become the leading global mobile brand for 2012, meaning for the first time in 14 years Nokia is not the annual leader in the global mobile business.
A report from research firm IHS iSuppli states that Samsung’s global market share has increased to 29 percent from 24 percent in 2011, with Nokia’s falling to 24 percent from 30 percent over the last year.
Apple comes in at number three, with its market share growing to 10 percent from 3 percent last year. Samsung also became dominant in the vital US market, beating Apple for the first time.
“The competitive reality of the cellphone market in 2012 was ‘live by the smartphone; die by the smartphone,’” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS. “Smartphones represent the fastest-growing segment of the cellphone market and will account for nearly half of all wireless handset shipments for all of 2012. Samsung’s successes and Nokia’s struggles in the cellphone market this year were determined entirely by the two companies’ divergent fortunes in the smartphone sector.”
The global smartphone market continues to grow, with shipments set to rise by 35.5 percent in 2012, while mobile phone shipments in total will increase by around one percent. Smartphone penetration at the end of 2012 will be 47 percent, up from 35 percent the year before.
Samsung has capitalised on this global growth in penetration more than any other company, primarily because of the success of Android. Its Galaxy SIII became the world’s most-selling smartphone in the third quarter of this year, hitting nearly 18 million sales, while its Galaxy Note II had sold five million less than two months after its launch.
The report says that Samsung’s success has been as a result of its “fast follower” strategy in design and manufacturing, while Nokia has been held back by the transition to the Windows operating system.
“Nokia is mired in transitioning its smartphone line to the Windows operating system, resulting in declining shipments for the company,” it noted. “Sales of the company’s older Symbian-based phones have plunged, while its new Microsoft Windows 7-based handsets haven’t been able to make up for the loss so far.”