Samsung tops Apple as Top Cellphone Brand in 2012

Nokia’s 14-year reign is all but history as Samsung puts it to an end, dethroning the Finnish company to become the top cellphone brand in 2012.

According to the IHS iSuppli Mobile and Wireless Communications Service, Samsung is expected to be responsible for 29% of worldwide cellphone shipments, up from 24% in 2011. Nokia’s market share this year will drop to 24%, down from 30% last year. Trailing in third place is Apple, which is predicted to take 10% of shipments (up from 7% in 2011). ZTE follows in fourth place with 6%, remaining steady since last year, while LG ends up in fifth place with 4% (down from 6%), as presented in the Table below.

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This is the first time the South Korean electronics giant will occupy the top on a yearly basis. Nokia relinquished their hold on the top spot for the first time since 1998.

“The competitive reality of the cellphone market in 2012 was ‘live by the smartphone; die by the smartphone,’” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS. “Smartphones represent the fastest-growing segment of the cellphone market—and will account for. nearly half of all wireless handset shipments for all of 2012. Samsung’s successes and Nokia’s struggles in the cellphone market this year were determined entirely by the two companies’ divergent fortunes in the smartphone sector.”

By offering various types of phones to appeal to a wide range of consumers, Samsung’s success has been established.

“The company produces dozens of new smartphone. models every year that address all segments of the market, from the high end to the low end,” IHS explained. “Samsung monitors the big trends in smartphone design, user needs and unmet market opportunities, then creates products to fit those markets quickly and efficiently.”

Meanwhile, Nokia has struggled to transition from its ever popular Symbian-based phones to its newer Windows 7-based handsets. The result has been declining shipments, with the Windows phones failing to make up for poor sales of the Symbian phones.

Samsung also boasts the best performance among smartphone brands, with its share of global shipments moving up to 28% from 20% last year. Apple sits in second place with its share slightly moving up from 19% to 20%. Nokia, in third place, suffers the biggest loss here, with its share plunging to 5% from 16% followed by HTC and RIM in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

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Global smartphone shipments are set to rise by 35.5 percent this year, while overall cellphone shipments will increase by approximately 1 percent. This rapid growth
will propel 2012 smartphone penetration to 47 percent, up from 35 percent in 2011.

Do you think Samsung will top this list by 2013 or will Apple overtake Samsung?