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Q2 2012: Samsung sold 50,5 million smartphones, Apple 20,6 million, on worldwide smartphone market share.
According to a new, published report from Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, global smartphone shipments grew 32 percent annually to reach 146 million units in the second quarter of 2012. This was the smartphone industry’s slowest growth rate for almost three years. Samsung and Apple together captured over half the global market.
Global smartphone shipments grew 32 percent annually to reach 146.1 million units in Q2 2012. This was the smartphone industry’s slowest growth rate since the third quarter of 2009. A volatile global economy, maturing penetration of smartphones among contract mobile subscribers, and some Apple fans holding off purchases in anticipation of a new iPhone 5 model later this year were among the main causes of the slowdown.
Samsung shipped 50.5 million smartphones worldwide and captured a record 35 percent marketshare in the second quarter of 2012. This was the largest number of units ever shipped by a smartphone vendor in a single quarter. Samsung has been able to deliver hit models in most major price segments, from the high-end Galaxy Note phablet to the mass-market Galaxy Y. Apple grew a modest 28 percent annually and shipped 26.0 million smartphones worldwide for 18 percent marketshare, broadly flat compared with 18 percent recorded a year earlier. We believe Apple’s lackluster performance was driven by some Apple fans and operators holding off iPhone purchases in anticipation of a rumored new iPhone 5 model around September or October this year.
Samsung and Apple combined now account for over half of all smartphones shipped worldwide, up from around one-third a year ago. Volumes have polarized around those two brands. The growth of Samsung and Apple has come partly at the expense of Nokia, whose global smartphone marketshare has halved from 15 percent to 7 percent over the past year. This is Nokia’s lowest marketshare level in the smartphone category for a decade. Nokia is seeing reasonable growth in its new Microsoft Lumia portfolio, but it is not yet offsetting the sharp decline in its aging Symbian platform.
Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments and Market Share in Q2 2012 
Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units)
Global Smartphone Vendor Marketshare %
Total Growth Year-over-Year %
1 Numbers are rounded.
The author of this report and analysis, Neil Mawston, can be reached at NMawston@strategyanalytics.com / +44 1908 423 628.