Samsung extends smartphone lead over Apple

July 27, 2012

Samsung extended its lead in the worldwide mobile phone market in the second quarter of 2012, as the South Korean giant doubled US rival Apple in the smartphone market, a new survey showed.

The IDC report released late Thursday showed Samsung atop the fast-growing market for smartphones as well as the overall , which is expanding slowly.

The survey showed Samsung shipped 50.2 million smartphones globally in the April-June period, a sizzling 172.8 percent gain from a year earlier, while Apple sold 26 million iPhones, up 27.5 percent.

IDC noted that Samsung gained from its new Galaxy S III phone, while demand for Apple sagged six months after the release of its latest . Apple is widely expected to release a new version of the iPhone later this year.

"Samsung and Apple have quickly become the global heavyweights though both employ somewhat different approaches to the market," said Kevin Restivo, senior with IDC.

"Samsung employs a 'shotgun' strategy wherein many models are created that cover a wide range of . Apple, in contrast, offers a small number of high-profile models. While both companies have expanded their geographic presence in pursuit of market share, the two companies will inevitably come into greater conflict as both try to generate additional gains."

The report comes ahead of a trial set to open Monday in California with Apple accusing Samsung of infringing on its patents for the iPhone and leading iPad tablets. Samsung has countered that its own patents were violated by Apple.

The IDC report said smartphone shipments jumped 42 percent year-over-year, but that the overall mobile phone market rose just one percent. That means many users of so-called "feature" phones are switching to newer smartphones.

Samsung held the lead in the overall market with 97.8 million phones and a of 24.1 percent, followed by Nokia, with 83.7 percent and a 20.6 percent share. Apple was third with 6.4 percent of the market, based solely on smartphone sales.

In smartphones, Samsung held 32.6 percent of the market to 16.9 percent for Apple and 6.6 percent for third-place Nokia, which shipped 10.2 million smartphones. Taiwan's HTC was fourth with 8.8 million smartphones, accounting for a 5.7 percent share, followed by China's ZTE at 5.2 percent for its eight million smartphones.

Explore further: Apple, Samsung smartphones outdo Nokia in 2Q

More information:

Worldwide market share for smartphones

IDC reported Friday that Samsung has extended its lead over Apple in smartphone sales, in part because its new Galaxy phones came out before Apple updated its iPhone.

Samsung's Galaxy S3 phones got good reviews when it came out late in the second quarter. Apple's iPhone 4S came out in October, and a new one isn't due until this fall. A drop in market share for Apple is typical several months after the release of an iPhone model.

Samsung and Apple dominate with nearly half of the worldwide market for smartphones.

Here are IDC's figures for worldwide smartphone unit sales and market share in the second quarter of 2012:

— Samsung Electronics Co., 50.2 million units, 32.6 percent share (17 percent a year earlier)

— Apple Inc., 26 million units, 16.9 percent share (18.8 percent a year earlier)

— Nokia Corp., 10.2 million units, 6.6 percent share (15.4 percent a year earlier)

— HTC Corp., 8.8 million units, 5.7 percent share (10.7 percent a year earlier)

— ZTE Corp., 8 million units, 5.2 percent share (1.8 percent a year earlier)

— Other, 50.7 million units, 32.9 percent share (36.2 percent a year earlier)

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