The mobile industry is currently being dominated by companies like Samsung and Apple, and these two companies have left behind the competition by a fair margin, so its growth is unmatched. As we all know, the last quarter of the year is always fruitful for mobile manufacturers (both feature phones and smartphones). And in Q4 of 2012, Apple reportedly surpassed Samsung in terms of total smartphone shipments made in the United States. That was a major victory for Apple and one which spoke volumes of the company’s immense popularity in the country. However, it didn’t take a genius to predict that the global numbers are going to be contrastingly different. And that’s exactly what the global figures for the fourth quarter of 2012 are showing as given by Canalys.
According to the numbers available, Samsung came in at number one in terms of total smartphone shipments in Q4 2012. Out of the 216.5 million smartphones shipped in Q4 2012, 62.9 million units were Samsung smartphones while Apple sold 47.8 million units of the iPhones. It goes without saying that the arrival of the Galaxy Note II in the last quarter proved to be crucial for Samsung. Taking into account the entire mobile shipments which includes budget phones and feature phones, over 438.1 million units were shipped. Out of this, 34% were Android powered handsets while only 11% of the devices made up for iPhones (iOS). Of the 216.5 million smartphone shipments smartphones, over 69% were believed to be running on Android. This is a great win for Android and especially Samsung, which has continued to dominate in 2012 as well. It should be seen whether the Koreans will be able to keep the pace going forward in 2013.
At third, fourth and fifth place respectively were Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo with all companies belonging to Asia. Not only does Asia have some of the most populous countries in the world, it’s also a key market for smartphones. Manufacturers like Huawei, Lenovo etc are seeing rapid growth in the area. Lenovo in particular saw a growth of 216% in the last quarter of 2012 compared to Q4 2011. It seems like these companies are making the most of the opportunity at hand with the current market situation where Android rules over everything else. But everybody weren’t winners as companies like Microsoft, Nokia and BlackBerry saw its marketshare slip further. Nokia made up for 1.5% (3.2 million shipments) of the 216.5 million smartphone shipments. Microsoft made up for 2.4% (5.1 million shipments) and BlackBerry ended with 3.5% (7.6 million shipments) respectively. The biggest loser, it seems, was Nokia which was expected given the limited roll out of its flagship smartphones like the Lumia 920 and 820. It’s rather odd that BlackBerry did better than Microsoft in Q4 of 2012 especially with smartphones like HTC 8X and Lumia 920 launching. However, we’re not quite sure if Microsoft’s shipments include the numbers from Nokia’s WP8 sales, so we’re a little edgy about that.
As the BlackBerry Z10 launched this quarter, it will be interesting to see what the numbers from Q1 2013 will show. Smartphones like the Sony Xperia Z, the HTC M7 as well as the LG Optimus G Pro are believed to break cover this quarter, so we should see these manufacturers make the best of it.