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In Declining Mobile Phone Market, Samsung Maintains Lead in Sales

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The new order pushes HTC out of the top five mobile phone vendors.

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Samsung achieved its highest market share, accounting for 41% of total shipments, beefed up by the smartphone segment. As in previous quarters, the success of the Galaxy line-up, particularly the Galaxy S III this quarter, was the main contributor to higher market shares in both volume and value. The company maintained its lead over Nokia, which had been the global market leader since the inception of IDC's Mobile Phone Tracker in 2004.

"The halcyon days of rapid growth in the smartphone market have been good to Samsung," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker program. "Samsung has used its established relationships with carriers in a mix of economically diverse markets to gain share organically and at the expense of former high fliers such as Nokia."

Nokia stabilized its market share. Despite the 10% year-on-year decline in shipments, the decline in market share has slowed compared with previous quarters. The company saw good good performance of Dual-SIM and Asha devices in the feature phone segment. In the smartphone segment the Lumia range continues to be the best selling Windows Phones, overtaking Symbian in unit shipments for the first time.

The death knell of Symbian as a widely used smartphone OS was sounded last year when Nokia said all of its smartphones would eventually be powered by Windows Phone OS.

Apple's sales were impacted by the rumors surrounding a new iPhone expected to be revealed on September 12, and shipments slowed as consumers postponed their replacements until a new device is available.

Sony/Sony Ericsson (SNE) improved its performance and overtook Research In Motion (RIMM). The company's smartphone portfolio has performed very well, particularly the latest Sony Xperia S and Xperia U, supported by a number of marketing campaigns across Europe.

Research In Motion continued to struggle and shipments fell 37% year-on-year to 1.9 million units, levels not seen since 2009. Its market share also declined to 4.5%, from 7% in 2Q11. Heavy discounts have prevented the company from recording an even worse performance while it transitions to smartphones running on the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. The company also continues to lose market share in the enterprise segment, with its share here being cut by half in the past year.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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