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Apple Hits New High with 8.8% of Worldwide Mobile Phone Market in 1Q 2012

Research firm IDC today released its estimates of global mobile phone and smartphone shipments for the first quarter 2012, revealing that Apple set a record high in taking 8.8% of the overall mobile phone market. The performance just barely topped Apple's 8.7% share in the previous quarter, which was the launch quarter for the iPhone 4S.


Worldwide Mobile Phone Shipments in 1Q12 in Millions of Units (Source: IDC)

Apple's year-over-year growth of 88% in an overall market which shrank by 1.5% enabled the iPhone maker to solidify its hold on third place in the overall mobile phone market behind Samsung and Nokia. Nokia had been the market leader for well over a decade, but Samsung surged into the lead for the first time during the quarter.


Worldwide Smartphone Shipments in 1Q12 in Millions of Units (Source: IDC)

Looking at the narrower smartphone market, which now comprises 36% of the global mobile phone market, IDC pegs Apple in second place, with its 88% year-over-year growth easily topping the overall segment's growth of 42.5%. But Apple's growth was easily overshadowed by Samsung, which rode the strength of its portfolio of Android-based devices to year-over-year growth of 267% and the top spot in the smartphone rankings.
"The race between Apple and Samsung remained tight during the quarter, even as both companies posted growth in key areas," said 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."
Samsung's shipment numbers suffer from significant uncertainty, however, as the company no longer releases official data on its sales for competitive reasons. Consequently, analysts have had to resort to rough estimates for Samsung's numbers, and IDC believes that Samsung registered 42.2 million smartphone shipments to easily top Apple's publicly-released number of 35.1 million units.

Research firm Strategy Analytics last week offered a similar estimate of Samsung's shipments at 44.5 million units for the quarter, but IHS iSuppli painted a very different picture with its estimate of only 32 million smartphone units for Samsung, which would have left Apple atop the rankings for the quarter.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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31 months ago

Thats because the others haven't implemented their own version of 'Apple Tax'


I love simplistic analysis.

No, it's because Apple isn't flooding the market with 50+ phones every year. They aim for one design with a couple variations in color and storage space and that's it. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to figure out how that's a lot cheaper than Samsung's throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach.
Rating: 13 Votes
31 months ago

Thats because the others haven't implemented their own version of 'Apple Tax'


That's because others don't have phones that aren't sold on price only.

Seriously, what is this "Apple Tax" supposed to be? Apple offers products for a price that they decide. Nobody forces anyone to pay that price. If Apple sells products then it is because people think they are worth it.
Rating: 11 Votes
31 months ago
Wow Samsung is dominating, I imagine when the SGS3 comes out their share will shoot up even further!
Rating: 6 Votes
31 months ago
having used an android phone and got the 4s i have to say i prefer apples products over all these android systems. I am not really interested in who is the market leader what i am interested in is a product that works is simple to use and not to much mucking around to find things and how to turn things of.
Rating: 5 Votes
31 months ago

I love simplistic analysis.

No, it's because Apple isn't flooding the market with 50+ phones every year. They aim for one design with a couple variations in color and storage space and that's it. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to figure out how that's a lot cheaper than Samsung's throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach.



I love how often the availability of choice is somehow a bad thing on these forums.

Seems to be working great for Samsung btw. I bet the Android manufacturers love that Apple doesn't want to compete in LTE/4g, in larger screen sizes, in physical keyboards, in huge batteries, etc.
Rating: 5 Votes
31 months ago



No, it's because Apple isn't flooding the market with 50+ phones every year. They aim for one design with a couple variations in color and storage space and that's it. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to figure out how that's a lot cheaper than Samsung's throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach.


and how is that bad? its just a different approach, not everyone needs a 300 Euro phone. im not necessarily fond of android or the samsung plastic crap but that doesnt mean their business strategy is bad. they have their high budget Galaxy and nexus phones for tech freaks as well as low budget phones for people like my mother.

both apple and samsung make enough money so why should i even care anyway ^^ having options is GREAT

oh and the anticipation for the Galaxy S III announcement here in germany is HUGE. its covered everywhere even with so little details out. something i used to only see with future iPhone gossip
Rating: 5 Votes
31 months ago

Remember, this is for ALL mobile phones. From the one-trick junkers to actual "smartphones."

Apple leads in smartphones.


Huh? IDC claims Samsung leads in Smartphones - 42M to Apple's 35M. I have no idea how they arrive at that number since Samsung doesnt release shipped or sold figures, but that's what is being estimated.
Rating: 4 Votes
31 months ago

Samsung is a corrupt company and I'm glad Apple is distancing itself from them especially in the supply chain.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-04-17/samsung-head-charged-with-fraud-avoids-arrest/2407266


Your going to be heart broken when you find out samsung is the mfg of all the guts in all of you iphones and ipads, they also just built a new factory in texas to supply Apple with the A6 chip bump up. Apples a long way from ending thier partnerships with samsung any time soon.
Rating: 4 Votes
31 months ago

They can't even upgrade current phones to ICS which is still

Rating: 4 Votes
31 months ago

Samsung Cooper, Y, Me, Galaxy Mini, et cetera. Lots of colorful names, small screens, and low prices. These sell by the bucketload. Everyone who can't afford an iPhone buys them - they're as close as you can get to an iPhone for $150.


They also have more memory, GPS, 3G, and a faster CPU than the first iPhone. Pretty amazing, really. Their primary downside is having only a QVGA screen.

Samsung models for $150 are everywhere here in South East Asia. Samsung is wiping the floor with Nokia and LG for this market segment.


Indeed, carriers have stated that Samsung's more inexpensive models are top-selling favorites in many countries, from India to Greece to Portugal. Considering that they're 1/5 the price of the latest iPhones, it's no wonder.

--

To those attempting to figure out sales, here's some raw facts to help:

[LIST]
[*]Apple includes high margin iPhone accessories in their iPhone revenue reports.
[*]Carriers pay about 40% more for iPhones than other smartphones (which is why some world carriers have stopped subsidizing them).
[*]Apple's average iPhone profit margin is over 40%.
[*]Samsung's average profit margin on all types of phones is 17%, and low as 5% on dumbphones.
[/LIST]
Consider a Galaxy Y (Mini) that retails worldwide for $150 or less without contract. It's quite likely that it costs Samsung about $100 (* including royalties ) to make and they wholesale it for $120.

It would be pretty fair, I think, to assume that sales concentrate towards the lowest end, but are spread out across the whole price range. So if Samsung wholesaled:

52 million dumbphones at $100
20 million smartphones at $120
12 million smartphones at $250
06 million smartphones at $350
04 million smartphones at $450
======================
94 million phones with $15 billion revenue, leaving room for tablet revenue

So yes, the numbers put out by firms more experienced than us, seem quite possible.

(*) Remember, the cheaper the retail price, the lower GSM and other royalties are. The intent is to make phones easier to buy for the world's population, not just the relatively affluent. This FRAND percentage is why Apple is complaining at the high end about royalties. However, at their profit margin they can afford more. It's the whole point of the arrangement.
Rating: 4 Votes

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