Rapid smartphone growth has helped Samsung replace Nokia as the world's top mobile phone manufacturer, according to new figures from IDC.
The research said the global phone market has declined 1.5% during the first quarter of 2012, with manufacturers shipping 398.4 million units, compared to 404.3 million units in 2011. Samsung's shipments increased by 35.4% year on year to 93.8 million units. This gave it a market share of 23.5%. Nokia is now in second place, after shipments fell 23.8% to 82.7%. The Finnish manufacturer has a 20.8% share but had been the number one vendor since the IDC charts began in 2004. Apple is in third place with an 8.8% share. It shipped 35.1 million units during the quarter, up 88.4%.
The report is the second piece of recent research to suggest Samsung has overtaken Nokia in the handset race. IDC said Samsung's continued expansion of its Galaxy portfolio, across multiple price points, screen sizes and processor speeds, fuelled the growth. Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker program, said: 'Samsung has used its established relationships with carriers in a mix of economically diverse markets to gain share organically and at the expense of former high fliers such as Nokia.'
The global smartphone market increased by 42.5% on 2011, with Samsung overtaking Apple. Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Phone Technology and Trends program, said: 'The race between Apple and Samsung remained tight during the quarter, even as both companies posted growth in key areas. 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.'
Editor: Graeme Neill