Samsung is World's Biggest Mobile Phone Vendor, Ousts Nokia from Top Spot
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Samsung ousted longtime leader Nokia to become the world's top mobile phone vendor, even as the worldwide mobile phone market declined 1.5 percent year-over-year in Q1 2012. According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped 398.4 million units in Q1 2012, compared with 404.3 million units shipped in Q1 2011.
Nokia has been the global market leader in total mobile phone shipments since the inception of IDC's Mobile Phone Tracker in 2004.
While total mobile phone shipments experienced a year-over-year dip, smartphone shipments are surging. In Q1 2012, the worldwide smartphone market grew 42.5 percent year-over-year, as Samsung overtook Apple for the smartphone leadership position. Vendors shipped 144.9 million smartphones during the quarter, compared with 101.7 million units in the Q1 2011. The 42.5 percent year-over-year growth was 1 percentage point higher than IDC's forecast of 41.5 percent for the quarter, and lower than the 57.4 percent growth in Q4 2011.
Samsung reclaimed the smartphone leadership position and established a new market record for the number of smartphones shipped in a single quarter. Propelling the company forward was continued expansion of its Galaxy portfolio in nearly all directions -- new and old smartphones, product and market segmentation, and multiple price points, screen sizes and processor speeds, the IDC report noted. Apple slipped to second place in the worldwide smartphone market, but nonetheless posted strong year-over-year growth to reach 35.1 million units shipped in Q1 2012. IDC said Apple's gains in the market benefited from iPhone availability at additional mobile operators worldwide, as well as sustained demand among both consumers and enterprise users.
Nokia's Symbian phone shipments declined precipitously in Q1 2012 as demand dropped in key emerging markets, such as China. Research In Motion's BlackBerry also saw its unit shipments continue to decline in Q1 2012, reaching levels not seen since 2009. Similar to Nokia, RIM is a company in transition. Smartphones running on its new platform, BB 10, will be released later this year.
The IDC report said HTC's struggles in the U.S. market once again negatively affected its overall performance.