As demand of smart devices mounted up in the last holiday season, global smartphone market share in Q4 2012 saw a major shift in terms of shipments. It’s really interesting not to see global brands such as Nokia, HTC, LG and RIM among top five smartphones vendors. According to IDC’s latest report, Huawei succeeded to grab third position in terms of smartphone shipments in Q4 2012. As per Nokia Q4 2012 earnings report, the company shipped 15.9 million smartphones in the last quarter. It’s clear from the IDC’s report that the firm hasn’t considered Nokia’s Asha “lineups” as smartphone, otherwise Nokia was listed among top three smartphone vendors.
The worldwide mobile handsets market realized 1.9% Y/Y growth in Q4 2012; 482.5 million mobile handsets were shipped in Q4 2012, up from 473.4 million units a year ago. The global mobile phone shipments reached to 1.7 billion units in 2012, up 1.2% Y/Y. Last quarter, 219.4 million smartphones were shipped, representing 45.5% of overall mobile handset shipments for the quarter. More importantly, 712.6 million Smartphones were shipped globally in 2012, up 44.1% compared to the last year.
At present, smartphone market is primarily being dominated by Samsung and Apple, accounting for more than half of the smartphone market share. Despite of Samsung and Apple’s dominance in smartphone segment, there’s still a huge opportunity for the new entrants. This is the reason why Huawei and ZTE succeeded to make their position among top five smartphone vendors in Q4 2012 with their low-priced devices.
Global Smartphone Market Share In Q4 2012
Now, Huawei and ZTE have distinct strategies for emerging as well as matured markets. With low-priced smartphones, both the companies have succeeded to make stronghold in emerging markets in Q4 2012. Besides, they also managed to draw the attention of users in matured market with their high-end devices.
Samsung made a record of selling all time highest number of smartphones in a single quarter. Galaxy Note II and Galaxy SIII played most significant role to set this record; both the devices accounted for over 60% of smartphone sales in Q4 2012. The company is still focusing on mid-and-low range smartphones to entice significant number of users across the world. Of course, we can’t deny with the fact that Android has always been a corner-stone for Samsung’s mobile business expansion. But now, the company has started looking for another platform; this is the reason why it has announced to launch Tizen—powered smartphones later this year.
On the other side, Apple also shipped its all time highest number of smartphones (47.8 million) for any single quarter in Q4 2013. The sales of smartphones were primarily driven by increasing demand of the devices in Greater China; Apple sold 2 million iPhone 5 in first week of its availability in the country. In addition, strong sales of older iPhone models, especially the iPhone 4, also played a key role for Apple’s success in the last quarter.
However, seeing Huawei among the top three smartphone vendors sounds little weird, but it’s true that the company hasn’t reached at the position in just one night. But, it succeeded to fix its position among top 10 smartphone vendors in the world till the end of Q3 2012. The Chinese handset maker has just announced a 6.1-inch Ascend Mate Phablet in order to compete with Galaxy Note II. Besides, the company has also brought some software innovations, including Magic Touch, guiding Wizard, Floating windows and smart reading, with its smartphones.
On the other side, Sony is still stuck with its high-end smartphone manufacturing strategy. Last quarter, the company introduced Xperia TL, and recently announced Xperia Z and Xperia ZL models, which are expected to be launched in Q1 2013.
Astoundingly, ZTE shipped more smartphones compared to feature phones for the first time in Q4 2012. However, the company is primarily focused on manufacturing low-cost smartphones especially for emerging markets, but the same time, it also wants to leverage on its high-end smartphones in matured markets.