Samsung Continues the Trend, Leads Global Smartphone Market

by Jordan Richardson on July 30, 2012

Samsung continues to assert itself in the global smartphone market, seeing a market share of 33 percent – up from 17 percent at the same time last year.

Samsung’s growth comes as the company dukes it out with Apple, both in sales and in the courts. The Cupertino giant has 17 percent of the market, but that’s largely because it finds itself “in between” releases of the iPhone 4S and the upcoming model.

On Friday, Samsung reported another record high in quarterly profits, announcing an astounding $5.9 billion on the quarter. This was in large part due to sales of its popular Galaxy S3 model, which works on American 4G networks and has, at least for now, a leg up on Apple’s iPhone entry.

According to IDC, fortunes could shift for Samsung once Apple releases its new product. The market tends to respond pretty quickly, but sales do drop off months after each new release. While it is expected that Samsung’s Galaxy sales will slow somewhat when Apple releases its next entry, it is also expected that Samsung will once again post record high profits in the third quarter as the S3 sales peak.

IDC reports that Samsung shipped some 50.2 million smartphones in the second quarter.

Overall, smartphone makers around the world shipped 154 million in the second quarter. That’s 42 percent more than the same quarter last year. The numbers sound impressive, but IDC was actually predicting 43 percent and the increase translates to the slowest growth since 2009’s fourth quarter.

A total of 406 million mobile units shipped in the quarter, up from 402 the same quarter a year prior. That includes cell phones along with smartphones and other mobile devices. Out of that number, Samsung and Apple accounted for half of what was shipped.

After Samsung and Apple came Nokia, which accounted for 6.6 percent of the market. HTC was fourth with 5.7 of the market, while ZTE Corp. out of China landed in the fifth spot for the first time with 5.2 percent market share.

It’s possible that Nokia could challenge Samsung and Apple, at least a little, with the incoming release of Windows’ new operating system. While it would take a small miracle – and a really good product – to chip away at the top draws in smartphone sales, stranger things have happened.

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