When it comes to smartphones, there are really only two companies that matter right now – Apple and Samsung. They’re both championing different mobile operating systems, but the two companies are absolutely dominating the worldwide smartphone market.
Earlier today, Gartner reported that Apple and Samsung now control 52 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, even though mobile phone sales declined 1.7 percent in 2012.
Samsung and Apple’s growth in the smartphone market has been incredible over the past two years. In Q3 of 2012 they controlled 46.4 percent, and now Samsung ended the year in the number 1 overal position in both smartphones and feature phone sales. Apple and Samsung are so far ahead of the competition that it’s hard to tell who’s even in third place right now.
“There is no manufacturer that can firmly lay claim to the No. 3 spot in global smartphone sales. The success of Apple and Samsung is based on the strength of their brands as much as their actual products. Their direct competitors, including those with comparable products, struggle to achieve the same brand appreciation among consumers, who, in a tough economic environment, go for cheaper products over brand.”
In Q4 2012 Samsung’s overall smartphone sales totaled 64.5 million, while Apple’s sales reached 43.5 million units. Gartner says that while demand for the iPhone was strong in Q4 2012, the arrival of the iPad mini may have dissuaded some customers from upgrading their iPhone rather than buying a new tablet.
While both Samsung and Apple recorded strong sales, the true winner in marketshare for 2012 was the Android operating system. Android captured 69.7% of the marketshare in Q4 2012, while iOS dropped from 23.6% in Q4 2011, to 20.9% in Q4 2012.