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?

NOKIA ASHA 311

With the release of Nokia Asha 311, Nokia hopes to stay afloat in the market. Asha 311 has a 3-inch low-res capacitive display and a 1GHz processor, both working together to bring the best out of the patched up interface of the series 40. Still as affordable as this phone is, competing with low end Android phones seems a tall task. Anyways, lets see how this phone performs before i make any conclusion.
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Design

There’s nothing really great about the design of the Asha 311. The features which the phone easy to recognized are the two physical buttons placed just below the screen. I wouldn’t say it adds much to the beauty of the phone, but the two physical buttons are very responsive and easy to press.

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The side keys are nothing like the front buttons. They are too ridig, too nard to press making it uncomfortable. Nokia still featured the traditional pinhole charging port which is located on the top of the phone. There’s also a microUSB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack just beside the pinhole charging port.

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Finally, the phone feature an ambient light and proximity sensor which becomes active during calls to dim the screen.

Screen

The Asha 311 is one of the best in its family. It has a capacitive 3-inch LCD display screen with a resolution of 240 x 400 pixels. The good news here is that the Asha 311 comes with a Corning Gorilla Glass which protects it from scratches or scrapes. It also support multitouch. Nokia added a polarizing filter for betteer outdoor visibility (outdoor visibility performance is average).

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Interface

The Nokia Asha 311 comes with the Series 40 interface. There is an imitation of the Android OS dropdown menu, three swipeable home screens and an imitation of the IOS notification icon. Nokia made a little improvement on the user interface by adding a bouncy effect for icons whenever you scroll to the top of a list.
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Processor and Memory

I would say Nokia made an effort moving a step forward with the Asha 311. Compared to the other Asha series, the Nokia Asha 311 is fast. All thanks to the more responsive capacitive touchscreen, but also to the RAM memory (128MB) and a 1GHz processor. The phone comes with a 2GB microSD card, internal storage of 140MB and can take up to 32GB microSD card.

Internet and Connectivity

The Asha 311 has a 3.2 megapixel camera with no flash. It a fixed-focus camera with very low quality shots. The good thing is that the camera is very easy to operate. It also captures video in 480p recorded in .3gp format. The frame rate is 25Fps and it’s not that good for recording fast-moving objects (Great…how on earth can i record Usain Bolt’s race!).

Multimedia

The Nokia Asha 311 has a very well equiped media play with tons of codec support and a clear loudspeaker. Nokia is giving away 60 java games from EA for free as a gift for Asha buyers (don’t you expect high-end games since all you get are the basic games. After all, it’s running on a Series 40 platform). The Good news it that Angry Birds comes pre-installed (hurray!)

Battery

Finally, the Asha 311 can also boast of something; longer battery life. It’s packed with a 1100mAh Li-ion battery that yield 6hours of 3G talk time, 14hours of 2G talk time and up to 40hours on music play time.

Conclusion

I’ve had a look at the Asha 311 from all angles but I’ve been kinda silent on the most important part which is the price. In Nigeria, the device costs between ₦18,840 to ₦23,550 ($120 to $140) depending on the market. This pits it in the same category as low-end Android smartphones like the Galaxy Y, Galaxy Pocket and LG Optimus L3 (cost either the same or lower than the Asha 311, but bring you into the smartphone land with lots and lots of useful apps unlike the java apps you get on the Asha 311).If you are a Game freak, you have to consider the options but the Nokia Asha 311 is a very good phone (for my mum, dad and little bro since they’re not that borthered about classy apps or games). On its own the Asha 311 stands proud.

The Good
-Capacitive screen brings better responsiveness
-Refreshed Series 40 UI
-3G, Wi-Fi connectivity

The Bad
-Not cheap enough, better smartphones now available at same price
-Design too plasticky
-Series 40 still feels a bit slow

Reference
Phone arena