13 February 2013

Apple and Samsung dominate market.


The latest research by Gartner shows that the two companies control 52% of the market - but that there is no clear number three.


More than 1.75 billion mobile phones were sold in 2012, slightly down on 2011, marking the first time the market had contracted since 2009.  But smartphones were up by 38%, to 207.7 million units.


Gartner's data suggests weakening demand for traditional feature phones (lower-end devices with limited functionality) led to the drop.  It said that in the final three months of the year, 264.4 million such devices had been sold - 19.3% fewer than over the same period in 2011.


The firm added that Apple and Samsung continue to dominate the smartphone market, with a combined 52% share in the October-to-December quarter.  In third place was China's Huawei, which sold more than 27 million devices in 2012, but it is closely followed by many competitors, including Nokia, BlackBerry, LG, ZTE and Sony.  "There is no manufacturer that can firmly lay claim to the number three spot," said the company's principal research analyst Anshul Gupta.  "Direct competitors to Samsung and Apple, including those with comparable products, struggle to achieve the same brand appreciation among consumers".


In operating systems, Gartner's data also indicated a similar story.  In the fourth quarter, Android had powered 69.7% of all smartphones sold, while Apple iOS had accounted for 20.9% of devices.  Over the last twelve months, that marked a gain in share for Google's operating system, but a decline for Apple's - although in terms of units sold, both firms made gains.  BlackBerry was third place in terms of operating systems, with just 3.5% of the market.  "Once again, there is no manufacturer that can firmly lay claim to the No. 3 spot in mobiles operating systems” said Gupta.

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