Samsung shipped nearly 400 million mobile phones in 2012, compared to 138 million by Apple

Around 540 million mobile phones were shipped worldwide in the months leading up to Christmas, while Samsung fell just short of shipping 400 million mobile phones during 2012 compared to 138 million by Apple, according to new statistics from Strategy Analytics.

The world mobile phone market, including feature phones and smartphones, grew from 439.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2011 to 540.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2012. Total mobile phone shipments for the year grew by 2% worldwide, from 1.546 billion to 1.575 billion, despite tough economic conditions in key markets.

“Ongoing macroeconomic challenges in mature markets like North America and Western Europe, tighter operator upgrade policies, and shifting consumer tastes were among the key reasons why global mobile phone shipments grew just 2% annually to reach 1.6 billion units in 2012,” says Strategy Analytics senior strategist Neil Shah.

The figures show steady year-on-year growth for Samsung, with its shipments growing from 95.0 million with 21.6% marketshare during the fourth quarter of 2011 to  108 million with 24% marketshare The company’s total shipments grew from 327.4 million in 2011, representing 21.2% of the market, to 396.5 million worldwide with a marketshare of 25.2%.

“Fuelled by robust demand for its popular Galaxy models, Samsung was the star performer, shipping a record 396.5 million mobile phones worldwide and capturing 25% marketshare to solidify its first-place lead. However, Samsung’s total volumes for the year fell just short of the 400 million threshold,” Shah says.

Nokia claimed second place, despite its fourth quarter shipments falling from 113.5 million (25.8% marketshare) in 2011 to just 86.3 million (19.1% marketshare) in 2012. Despite shipping 27% of all phones worldwide in 2011, 417 million units in total, its 2012 shipments fell to 335.6 million (21.3% marketshare).

“Nokia faced tough competition from Samsung in developing markets like China, while Apple and others ramped up the pressure in developed regions such as Western Europe.

Nokia’s dual-SIM feature phones, Asha touchphones and Lumia handsets have been performing well, but this was not enough to offset a slump in demand for the company’s ageing Symbian smartphone platform last year,” says Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston.

Meanwhile, Apple experienced steady growth, with fourth quarter shipments increasing from 37 million and 8.4% marketshare in 2011 to 47.8 million and 10.6% marketshare in 2012. In total, the company shipped 138 million mobile phones during 2012, up from 93 million a year earlier.

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