Samsung continued its expanding growth over the year, shipping a record 63 million smartphones and accounting for over 30% of all smartphone shipments during Q4 2012.
With shipments exceeding 200 million during the quarter, the annual total reached 671 million – representing a growth of almost 42% y-o-y.
Once again, sales of the Galaxy S3 drove growth for the South Korean company, surpassing 40 million in November 2012.
However, despite the festive season and iPhone 5 sales, Juniper Research says Apple posted lower than expected iPhone sales at around 47.8 million, still a record quarter for the company.
With Samsung leading the market, the search company believes Apple will need to continue focussing on innovation, whilst retaining its brand leadership.
Nokia fights back with the Lumia
Nokia shipped 6.6 million smart devices in the fourth quarter, with the new Lumia device line still to make a significant impact with shipments of 4.4 million.
Nokia’s Symbian based handsets experienced a large decline, reaching 2.2 million.
Overall, the Finnish company made a US$3 billion loss for the year, but posted a profit of $586 million for Q4 2012.
RIM’s recent results – which run to a different financial schedule – are expected to account for almost 6.7 million smartphone shipments for Q4 and over 31 million for the year.
With the release and launch of BlackBerry 10 and a new line of smartphones just a few days away, the Canadian company will struggle to gain back a significant market share in 2013.
Huawei and ZTE Leads Second-Tier Smartphone Battle
Huawei posted impressive sales in 2012, with the introduction of a range of new smartphones and tablets, posting sales revenues of over $35 billion.
The company introduced over 23 models of smartphone devices and is estimated to have shipped almost 20 million smartphones in 2012.
While other smartphone vendors, including LG and ZTE, have managed to maintain their smartphone market shares, they are still facing challenges when competing against the premium brands.
Similar to Samsung, these vendors are introducing a number of new product ranges and marketing activities to maintain their visibility in the market.