The holiday season is often seen as a lucrative period for manufacturers regardless of the status of the company, as this is the time when these companies aim to make the most sales. Similarly during the fourth quarter of 2012, there were a few new devices being launched which were very well received by the market. Smartphones like the iPhone 5 which launched at the back end of Q3 2012, continued to sell well despite the Apple Maps debacle, while at the same time Samsung’s Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II managed to do well too. And now, according to new report, Apple for the first time took the top honors in the U.S during the last quarter of 2012 by overtaking Samsung in terms of mobile phone shipments. These figures were compiled by well known research firm Strategy Analytics. It is believed that the iPhone 5 was a key factor in Apple showing good figures for the latter part of the year.
However, despite Apple taking the cake in Q4 2012, Samsung was on top with the yearly figures with 53 million mobile phone shipments compared to Apple’s 43.7 million shipments. Bear in mind, that these numbers only take into account the sales made in the U.S. If they were to take into account the sales made all over the globe, there would be a massive difference in marketshare. If we go by the percentage, Apple only managed to overtake Samsung by 1.7%, while in yearly sales Samsung led by a margin of 5.6%. At third place was LG with a mere 20.5 million shipments in 2012 and a total marketshare of 12.3% in the U.S during the year.
All things considered we have to appreciate the sales made by the iPhones to beat juggernauts like the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II in the last quarter of the year. However, the device was less than a couple of months old back then and it kind of had the advantage of being the last to arrive as people generally tend to favor something which is new. For Apple this is a major achievement nevertheless, as it is for the first time that the company has become the top mobile phone seller in a quarter. It is a bigger achievement when we consider the fact that these numbers take into account several mobile phones sold by Samsung as against the 3-4 phones sold by Apple.
So in many ways, Apple has profited better in the year. Not sure if those analysts knew what they were talking about when they said the iPhone 5 was seeing a fall in demand. It certainly doesn’t seem like it, not as of now at least. It will be interesting to see how the iPhones and Samsung mobile phones fare in the first half of 2013 as that’s when Samsung launches its Galaxy S III successor. Apple also is rumored to be working on a budget iPhone and a slightly upgraded version of the iPhone 5 for June this year, which might turn out to be quite interesting if true.