Report: Samsung Now Undisputed King Of Smartphone Realm

Galaxy S4Not that long ago many people were speculating about when smartphone penetration would reach 50 percent. That happened relatively early in 2012. And today US smartphone ownership stands at roughly 60% according to Nielsen.

Yesterday IDC reported another milestone: smartphone “shipments” surpassed non-smartphone shipments for the first time in Q1. According to the device-tracking firm, “more than half (51.6 percent) the total phone shipments in a quarter were smartphones.”

The following chart shows top global phone vendors (all phone shipments) according to IDC:

Q1 smartphone shipments

Samsung lead all others with a 27.5 percent market share (this is shipments, not sales). Nokia was second, but off 25 percent from a year ago. Apple was the third largest mobile phone vendor, but the second largest smartphone vendor after Samsung.

In terms of smartphones, Samsung shipped 70.7 million units in Q1 vs. Apple’s 37.4 million. IDC said “Samsung shipped more units than the next four vendors combined.”

Earlier this week Samsung reported roughly $6.5 billion in quarterly profits on record smartphone sales. The company’s new flagship device, the Galaxy S4 has received modestly positive reviews. However the S4 is likely to sell well in part because of Samsung’s giant marketing machine. The company spent $11.6 billion on marketing in 2012. 

Samsung has all but obliterated its Android competition with the exception of fellow Korean OEM LG. HTC, Motorola and others are way down from previous levels and market share. In fact, HTC and Google’s Motorola are in danger of becoming totally marginalized by Samsung absent some big device successes.

The HTC One is a nicer, better-built device than the Galaxy S3 or S4 line but HTC doesn’t have the resources or muscle to out-duel Samsung in the marketplace.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone continues to have only tiny share domestically and globally, which impacts Nokia’s attempted comeback as well. BlackBerry is also missing-in-action notwithstanding its recent and much-hyped BB10 and Z10 launches.

Related Topics: Apple: iOS | Apple: iPhone | Channel: Mobile Marketing | Google: Android | Statistics: Market Share | Statistics: Mobile Marketing | 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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  • Jason Coles

    I can’t believe how dominant Samsung has become over these past couple of years. I can’t say I am an Apple fan so it’s nice to see someone else getting the limelight these days. I have the S2 and it’s been very good to me so not sure if I am going to step up to the S4 right away. I would never have guessed Samsung spent that kind of money on marketing in 2012, that’s a lot! Do you know how that compares to what Apple spent?

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