Smartphones represent almost 50 per cent of all phones shipped during same period.
The fourth quarter of 2012 saw Android smartphones account for 34 per cent of all mobile phones shipped, with iOS phones accounting for 11 per cent, Canalys has revealed in its final mobile shipments estimates.
Tracking mobile shipments across more than 50 countries, Canalys found that the total mobile phone market remained flat year-on-year at 438.1 million units, while the global smartphone market grew by 37 per cent. It also showed that smartphones made up almost 50 per cent of all phones shipped in Q4 2012.
With regards to the smartphone market, Android handsets made up 69 per cent of the 216.5 million shipped. Samsung enjoyed an especially fruitful quarter, growing by 78 per cent, while Chinese vendors Huawei, ZTE Lenovo and Yulong all grew by triple-digit percentages.
However, Android’s share did dip sequentially from 74 per cent, while Apple’s share grew from 15 per cent to 22 per cent due to the strength of the iPhone 5.
Both BlackBerry and Windows Phone shares remained unchanged sequentially at four per cent and two per cent respectively.
“BlackBerry, Microsoft and Nokia, as well as other Android vendors, have strategies and devices in place to attack, but the task is daunting to say the least,” said Pete Cunningham, Principal Analyst. “When we look at the whole of 2012, Nokia remained the number three smart phone vendor, shipping 35 million units, but Apple in second place shipped 101 million more handsets. First-placed Samsung shipped 74 million more than Apple – the gaps are colossal. But there is still a big opportunity as smart phone penetration increases around the world. Vendors left in the wake of the top vendors must at the very least improve their portfolios, time-to-market and marketing, as well as communicate their differentiators. Microsoft, BlackBerry and other new OS entrants, such as Mozilla, must make the OS switch as simple as possible and drive and localize their respective app and content ecosystems.”
Huawei reached third place for the first time in Q4, with ZTE taking fourth, while Sony dropped out of the top five in place of Lenovo, which proved to be one of the fastest-growing smartphone vendors, growing 216 per cent year-on-year and shipping 9.5 million units. “China made up 98 per cent of Lenovo’s shipments with a handful of emerging markets making up the rest. Its struggle to gain a foothold in markets outside of China means that it may be forced down the acquisition route – as it was with its PC business - hence the speculation about BlackBerry,” said Jessica Kwee, Analyst.
In China, the world’s largest phone market, smartphones dominated shipments, accounting for 73 per cent of the market compared to 40 per cent a year ago. Volumes of smartphones in China grew 113 per cent to 64.7 million units, with Samsung occupying top spot, followed by Lenovo and Yulong. Huawei jumped ahead of ZTE by more than a million units to take fourth place. “China is a massive growth prospect, but Apple is not making the market share impact there that it is in other markets. The lack of a device on the China Mobile network is a big drawback, combined with high price points. Addressing these issues with the combination of a TD-SCDMA device and a cheaper model would open the floodgates,” said Nicole Peng, China Research Director.