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Samsung and Apple Continue to Dominate Smartphone Market, But iOS Market Share Falls

Gartner's quarterly Market Share Analysis: Mobile Phones, Worldwide report shows that Samsung and Apple continue to dominate the smartphone market, with more than 52% of the market between them, but that Android's market share grew dramatically year-on-year while iOS saw a decline.

Samsung's Q4 2012 smartphone sales totalled 64.5 million handsets, up 85.3% on the previous year, while Apple's sales reached 43.5 million, a 22.6% increase. However, with featurephones included in the picture, Apple lays in third place behind Samsung and Nokia, with a 9.2% market share.

gartner-salesThe dominance of Android meant that overall iOS market share fell from 23.6% in Q4 2011 to 20.9% a year later. Android increased its market share in the same period from 51.3% to a commanding 69.7%. The bulk of this growth was at the expense of Symbian and RIM, but some of it was from iOS.

The figures are likely to fuel debate about Apple's pace of innovation, with iOS having changed far less dramatically than Android since the launch of each platform. While the Android platform is split across a range of manufacturers, giving it the benefit of being marketed by multiple companies, Samsung alone is responsible for 42.5% of Android sales.
With Samsung commanding over 42.5 percent of the Android market globally, and the next vendor at just 6 percent share, the Android brand is being overshadowed by Samsung’s brand with the Galaxy name nearly a synonym for Android phones in consumers’ mind share.
The report suggests that Apple's continued success may be more due to the halo effect of the brand, rather than the strength of the iOS platform itself.
The success of Apple and Samsung is based on the strength of their brands as much as their actual products. Their direct competitors, including those with comparable products, struggle to achieve the same brand appreciation among consumers, who, in a tough economic environment, go for cheaper products over brand.
Total worldwide mobile phone sales last year fell 1.7% to 1.75 billion, with the economy undoubtedly leading people to delay upgrades.

Top Rated Comments

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87 months ago

I don't get these type of conversations. It's like talking about how much market share Ferrari has -- it doesn't make sense.

Apple is like Ferrari.

Actually Apple is like Toyota, not exclusive at all. Kids have iPhones. You can buy them at WalMart Target, etc. iPhones are as common as can be. Ferrari is quite exclusive.
Rating: 27 Votes
87 months ago

> Comparing *total* iPhone sales to total Android sales:
Comparing iPhone sales to sales of higher-end Android phones that actually compete with iPhone would be relevant. I'll bet the gap in sales would be a lot smaller.

There are lots of cheap Android phones being sold. Heck, you can still buy cheap phones with Android OS 2.3. These phone sales have no bearing on iPhone sales - they are being sold on price and are not a sale taken away from Apple.

There will always be a lot of buyers who buy based on price. Get used to it, people. Gnasher is right. It doesn't mean Apple is failing.

Why? You can buy an iPhone for .99. And it means just what it means, Apple's market share decreased regardless of how many phones they sold.
Rating: 10 Votes
87 months ago

I don't get these type of conversations. It's like talking about how much market share Ferrari has -- it doesn't make sense.

Apple is like Ferrari.

Apple is not like Ferrari and shouldnt be comparing them at all. Pumping up the price on a device that could be sold at a 3rd or 1/2 the price is not comparible to Ferrari.
Rating: 9 Votes
87 months ago
The market share is falling not because people are switching from iOS to Android, or choosing Android over iOS for their first phone, it's because people are upgrading their feature phones, walking into their service providers store, and getting what they think is the most bang for the buck which equals a LARGE phone for cheap (they don't care about what OS is on it, or if their money is going to America or Korea).

Then they take it home and all they do is talk and text on it.
Rating: 8 Votes
87 months ago
I don't get these type of conversations. It's like talking about how much market share Ferrari has -- it doesn't make sense.

Apple is like Ferrari.
Rating: 7 Votes
87 months ago

I still don't see how android is stepping over IOS? These numbers are based on Apples one phone (iPhone) and all the cheaper phones that android is on.

Most people getting the cheaper phones is not choosing between IOS and android, they are just getting the cheaper phones. If Apple made NEW cheaper phones, then they would have a choice.

again false.

apple has cheaper phones at every price level starting at free just like android. All running the same ios.

Android and samsung is innovating at full speed and killing apple in those commercials. The only big thing came out of the iphone was a slighter bigger screen last year, their other big feature the map was a disaster and had a negative impact.

Just look at those commercials, when iphone first came it was a showstopper, now the best they can do is touting a "do not disturb" button and how the caller can hear your voice...during a phone call.

It's laughable.

Meanwhile samsung is killing it with their commercials touting nfs transfers, stylus doing all sorts of cool stuff, etc...

Apple stopped innovating on their iphone, or rather tried and failed. That's fact.

Many people including myself like iphone because it's simple and works out of box, but that will only carry you so far until a tipping point is reached where the features and innovations on the competitor is just too much to resist.
Rating: 6 Votes
87 months ago

Marketshare is important. So is profit.

At the end of the day - both Apple and Samsung are doing very well in both categories.

But this is MacRumors and numbers are only important if they favor Apple. In this case, people will say, who cares if market share is falling, Apple makes better profits. :D
Rating: 5 Votes
87 months ago

Stating facts is not the same thing as analysis. It's impossible for their percentage share not to drop when the market becomes so diluted. Samsung's percentage dropped as well, but they use the same OS as the others, so it's not reflected in this pointless chart. Apple still showed strong growth. Just because a number exists, doesn't mean it's relevant.

I'm not picking on you, but why does someone always make a statement like this whenever the numbers aren't in Apples favor? If it were the other way around people would be bragging about how Apple dominates with only a few phones while there were a hundred different Android phones.
Rating: 5 Votes
87 months ago
Apple take notes... People might want a 'great experience', but they also want a great iOS to go along with that experience.
Android OS is stepping over you and Windows OS has some great ideas. iOS has gotten stale... why must I double tap the home button to switch apps? Why do I have to go all the way through Settings to turn on/off BT / Wifi / Airplane mode? Where are widgets?

iOS is clunky and needs a revamp.
Rating: 5 Votes
87 months ago

Put another way, a lot of everyday non-techie people have Samsung phones as their first smartphone because some salesperson told them something untrue or misunderstood or simply handed it to them and said "this is best." Whereas most people have iPhones by actual choice! They went to or an Apple store, or someone trusted (not a sales rep) recommended an iPhone for real reasons, or they went to their carrier store and asked for an iPhone even while the sales staff pushed something else.

Yes, someone recommending a Samsung phone is someone lying, someone recommending an iPhone is a trusted person.

I can't believe that people can say those things with a straight face
Rating: 4 Votes

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