Boston – Global cellphone shipments rose a modest 2 percent in 2012 to 1.6 billion units compared with 13.7 percent growth in 2011, with Samsung knocking out Nokia for top market share, Strategy Analytics reports.
Apple also gained global share in 2012 but remained in the No. 3 market-share slot.
Overall cellphone shipments posted little growth in 2012 because of “ongoing macroeconomic challenges in mature markets like North America and Western Europe, tighter operator upgrade policies, and shifting consumer tastes,” said Neil Shah, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics. Samsung sales soared, however, because of the company’s success with its Galaxy series of smartphones.
In 2012, Samsung share rose to 25.2 percent from 21.2 percent on a 21.1 percent gain in shipments to 396.5 million. Nokia share fell to 21.3 percent from 27 percent on a sales decline of 19.5 percent to 335.6 million units. Apple sales surged 46 percent to 135.8 million to capture 8.6 percent share. Fourth-ranked ZTE saw its share drop to 4.6 percent from 5.1 percent because sales slipped 8 percent to 71.7 million units.
Apple’s gains were “bolstered by solid demand in North America and Asia,” said analyst Linda Sui. “Apple’s launch of the iPhone 5 in Q4 2012 was a success as volumes ramped up in dozens of countries worldwide,” she added.