Duopoly Time: Apple And Samsung Combine For Almost 90 Percent Of 2012 Global Smartphone Market

android-apple-iosWoe be to any mobile phone maker that isn’t named Apple or Samsung. Numbers out today from IDC show the two combining for a staggering 87.6 percent of all smartphones “shipped” in 2012 on a global basis.

In Q4, according to IDC, the two companies’ products constituted 91 percent of all smartphones shipped. Shipped is actually a false market share metric. That’s because shipments don’t always equal sales or usage. However, in the case of Apple and Samsung these data are a reasonable proxy for actual sales.

According to IDC, Samsung controlled 42 percent “of all Android smartphone shipments during the year.” The firm also said that relative to the overall smartphone market, iOS growth had slowed. Android handsets were a whopping 70 percent of all smartphones shipped in Q4.

IDC smartphone figures

There was a glimmer of hope for Windows Phones and Nokia in the report. The latter shipped 76 percent of all Windows Phones in Q4. However, that hasn’t translated into significant sales outside of a couple of isolated countries so far. (This is an example of where “shipments” and “sales” diverge pretty significantly.)

2012 smartphone sales

Windows Phone’s share of the smartphone market in North America continues to deteriorate (see comScore chart below). It’s too soon to tell whether the new Z10 will revive BlackBerry’s fortunes. But, there has been some early interest in Canada and the UK.

The chart immediately above contains Gartner’s sales figures (all mobile phones) by handset OEM. The chart below is the US smartphone OS share data from comScore (based on user survey responses).

comscore US smartphone OS share December 2012

Related Topics: Apple: iOS | Apple: iPhone | Channel: Mobile Marketing | Google: Android | Microsoft: Mobile | Mobile Marketing | Samsung | Statistics: Mobile Marketing | Statistics: Popularity & Usage | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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