Samsung Rules the World of Smartphones

Samsung Leader of Smartphones Market

(Wednesday, November 07, 2012) – Today smartphone is most trendy mobile phone hand set in the cellular world. Dynamics of the global mobile handset market have markedly changed in recent quarters. While the leading manufacturers of feature phones, especially Nokia, are grappling with slackening demand, it is the smartphone makers that are inflating the pie. Global demand for smartphones, which offer suave interface and interactive mobile applications, is growing in double digits, quarter after quarter.

Samsung rules the smartphones

Latest estimates by the International Data Corporation (IDC)   a renowned American firm specializing in ICT-related market intelligence and advisory services   show that the global mobile phone market (which includes all kinds of mobile handsets) grew by 2.4 percent YoY in the third quarter ending September 30, 2012. Vendors shipped 444.5 million mobile phones in various parts of the world during this period.

Samsung rules the smartphone world

Samsung is the overall market leader with a 24 percent market share, relegating Nokia to number two with a 19 percent share in 3QCY12. Much like previous quarters, feature phones sales have slumped, but that was more than offset by increased global; shipments of smartphones.

IDC states that smartphone vendors shipped 179.7 million units in 3QCY12, which means a whopping YoY growth of 45.3 percent.

While smartphone wars are being fought on battlegrounds of design innovation, carrier partnerships and advertising spend; the mobile operating systems which manufacturers decide to install on their hardware has lately come to draw the competitive landscape.

Google Inc. s Android mobile OS is selling like hot cakes, as three out of four smartphones sold during the quarter were running on Android.

IDC estimates that the android-powered smartphones  quarterly shipments reached 136 million units, a stupendous YoY growth of 91.5 percent. Android is very popular among both users and developers   the former seem hooked to the frequent releases of new versions (all named after frozen desserts) and the latter seem to prefer its open source design and architecture compared to other mobile OS  in the market.

Apple s iOS is a remote choice after android, partly because recent iPhone releases haven t come up with many new OS-driven features. Meanwhile, the proprietary BlackBerry OS is struggling as handset sales falter, and the Symbian OS (deployed by Nokia, Sharp and Sony) is losing out to Android and iOS.

Samsung, whose mobile hardware (smartphones and tablets) runs on android, is scaling new heights and has further cemented its stronghold in the smartphone world. Samsung shipped more than twice the units as Apple in 3QCY12, controlling nearly one-third of the global smartphone market. IDC reports that Galaxy S III sales have remained strong, along with those of various mid ranged and mass-market models.

Its closest rival, Apple managed some gains after the release of iPhone 5 in late September, selling five million units in the first weekend. Despite the Apple Maps  software fiasco, iPhone 5 s larger screen and 4G LTE connectivity have reportedly pushed the sales.  What remains to be seen is how Apple will fare during the holiday quarter, when the iPhone 5 will be available in more countries worldwide , notes IDC.

Despite its cash flow problems and restructuring woes, Research In Motion, the Blackberry manufacturer, still muddles along, thanks to its 80 million plus active users. But with delays looming over the BB10 release, RIM may cede ground to companies like ZTE and HTC who are getting aggressive in high-end phones and are increasing their global footprint after strong showing in their native Asia-Pacific region.

But the seat at the top is already taken. None of Samsung s closest competitors currently seem to have so much an outside chance to dethrone the Korean giant. Samsung has weathered legal battles with Apple across multiple continents and has come out stronger. It is, hence, very likely that Samsung could be the market leader when annual global smartphone shipments cross one billion in 2016 (or earlier).

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