Market Overview

Strategy Analytics: Samsung Captures Record 35 Percent Share of 162 Million Global Smartphone Shipments in Q3 2012


According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments grew 35 percent annually to reach 162 million units in the third quarter of 2012. Samsung achieved a record 35 percent global share. Apple held second position, while Nokia slipped outside the top three rankings.

Alex Spektor, Associate Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global smartphone shipments grew 35 percent annually from 120.0 million units in Q2 2011 to 161.7 million in Q3 2012. The 35 percent growth rate was relatively soft, as a volatile global economy and maturing penetration of smartphones among contract mobile subscribers continued to moderate demand.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Samsung shipped 56.9 million smartphones worldwide and captured a record 35 percent marketshare in the third quarter of 2012. This was the largest number of units ever shipped by a smartphone vendor in a single quarter. Despite tough competition in stores and courtrooms, Samsung continued to deliver numerous hit models, from the high-end Galaxy Note phablet to the mass-market Galaxy Y. Apple grew a healthy 57 percent annually and shipped 26.9 million smartphones worldwide for 17 percent marketshare, up from 14 percent recorded a year earlier. Apple had a solid quarter in the important United States market and this helped to strengthen its global performance.”

Neil Shah, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Samsung and Apple combined now account for over half of all smartphones shipped worldwide, up from around one-third a year ago. Volumes have polarized around those two brands. The growth of Samsung and Apple has continued to impact Nokia. Nokia shipped 6.3 million smartphones worldwide for a 4 percent marketshare in Q3 2012, dipping from 16.8 million units and 14 percent share in Q3 2011. Nokia has now slipped outside the top three global smartphone rankings for the first time in history. Nokia will need to ramp up sharply its Windows Phone volumes if it wants to recapture a top-three smartphone position in the next one to two quarters.”

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments and Market Share in Q3 2012 1

Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units)   Q3 '11   Q3 '12
Samsung   28.1   56.9
Apple 17.1 26.9
Others   74.8   77.9
Total   120.0   161.7
Global Smartphone Vendor Marketshare %   Q3 '11   Q3 '12
Samsung 23.4% 35.2%
Apple 14.3% 16.6%
Others   62.3%   48.2%


  100.0%   100.0%
Total Growth Year-over-Year % 48.1% 34.8%

The full report, Global Smartphone Shipments Reach 162 Million Units in Q3 2012, is published by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, details of which can be found here:

About Strategy Analytics:

Strategy Analytics is a global, independent research and consulting firm. The company is headquartered in Boston, USA, with offices in the UK, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, India and China. Visit for more information.

1 Numbers are rounded.

Strategy Analytics
Alex Spektor, +1 617-614-0726
Neil Shah, +1 617-614-0727
Neil Mawston, +44 1908 423 628

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