Report: Apple and Samsung dominate Q4 with 51 percent of global smartphone market


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Q4 2012 estimates from Strategy Analytics

While Samsung has conveniently left specific smartphone sales numbers out of its Q4 earnings release yesterday (as usual), today we get a look at the latest estimates for the quarter coming from research firms Strategy Analytics and IDC.

We know that Apple sold 47.8 million iPhones during the quarter, and today both research firms put Samsung just over 63 million units for Q4 2012. That means Samsung was able to capture 29 percent of the market last quarter (up from 36.2 million units and 22.5-percent of the market in the year ago quarter). Apple is of course a close second among the top five smartphone vendors with 21.8-percent—down slightly from the 23 percent it held in the same quarter last year. In Q4 2011, Apple and Samsung were neck and neck at about 23 percent of the market each.

The increasing market share for Apple, and especially Samsung, over the past year comes at the expense of Nokia. It experienced a drop from 16 percent to 5 percent of the market during the past year. 

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As for 2012, Samsung was able to top the list of smartphone vendors with 215.8 million units and 39.6-percent of the market over the year. This accounted for a 129.1-percent year-over-year change (up from 94.2 million units in 2011), while Apple comes in at 136.8 million units and 25.1-percent of the market for the year. Those figures are up from 93.1 million last year (a 46.9-percent year-over-year change).

It’s important to note that Samsung’s numbers from both IDC and Strategy Analytics are estimates, because Samsung doesn’t release specifics for its smartphone sales. While we know exactly how many smartphones Apple sold during the quarter, it’s unclear if the estimates for Samsung include smartphones shipped versus sold. You can get IDC’s report here and Strategy Analytics’ report here.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.