Apple's Share of Worldwide Smartphone Market Slides as Samsung Continues to Surge

Research firm IDC yesterday released its estimates of global mobile phone and smartphone shipments for the second quarter of 2012, revealing that Apple's slower year-over-year iPhone growth and booming sales from Samsung have caused the company's share of the market to slip compared to previous periods.

In the smartphone market, Apple's shipments of 26 million iPhones were up 27.5% year-over-year, but with the market growing at a 42% clip, Apple's share slid from 18.8% to 16.9%. Apple's share had registered at 24.2% in the prior quarter when the company was still riding high on the relatively new iPhone 4S that was expanding into new markets such as China.

idc 2Q12 smartphones
Worldwide Smartphone Shipments in 2Q12 in Millions of Units (Source: IDC)

While Samsung has ceased releasing data on smartphone sales for competitive reasons, IDC's estimates peg the company at having shipped 50.2 million smartphones during the quarter, up 172.8% year-over-year and allowing Samsung to easily take the crown in a booming market that topped 150 million shipments during the quarter.

Apple posted an expected sequential decline last quarter, similar to years past. The quarter-over-quarter shipment decline came six months after it unveiled its latest iPhone. The decline is not unusual as iPhone shipment volume is highest in the first two quarters after its release. The company’s once-a-year release cycle usually results in two quarters of lower volumes leading up to the next-generation model introduction. Nonetheless, Apple made significant inroads into new markets and segments, including smaller regional carriers and prepaid service providers.

Looking at the mobile phone market as a whole, Apple's performance looks a bit better, with the company's 27.5% year-over-year growth approaching Samsung's overall 29.7% growth as the feature phone business has continued to erode with the consumer shift to smartphones. The mobile phone market as a whole grew by only 1% year-over-year, meaning that the smartphone segment's strong growth was almost entirely offset by losses in feature phones on a unit basis.

idc 2Q12 phones
Worldwide Mobile Phone Shipments in 2Q12 in Millions of Units (Source: IDC)

Apple's share of the total mobile phone market registered at 6.4% for the quarter, up from 5.1% in the year-ago quarter but down from last quarter's 8.8% share.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

BC2009 Avatar
137 months ago
This is the reason why Apple sues Samsung so much. They know they can't handle that much competition with such fast development.
iOS looks like 2007... Oh wait...

You make a good argument.... for bringing back the down-voting of comments.
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PixelsAbuser Avatar
137 months ago
This is the reason why Apple sues Samsung so much. They know they can't handle that much competition with such fast development.
iOS looks like 2007... Oh wait...
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BigJohno Avatar
137 months ago
Good to see Apple getting some heat. They need this in order to keep innovating.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macboy Pro Avatar
137 months ago
Not a surprise, the iPhone looks antiquated compared to some of the newer droids like the HTC one X and the Samsung Galaxy SIII. If the iPhone 5 Rumors are true, its not going to be pretty as the iPhone will continue to slip


Wake up Apple!
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iDamian Avatar
137 months ago
This is the reason why Apple sues Samsung so much. They know they can't handle that much competition with such fast development.
iOS looks like 2007... Oh wait...
Or maybe it's because Apple only sells one type of phone compared to plenty of Samsung smartphones. And people hesitated to buy the iPhone; they're waiting for the iPhone 5, which should definitely increase Apple's share.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WiiDSmoker Avatar
137 months ago
Average consumers love cheap products and analysts are stupid.

You're talking about the iPhone 4 that can be had for free or 49.99 right? Stop this crap.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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