With Nokia struggling to cope with the competition, Samsung has emerged as the top phone maker of 2012 - the first time since 1998 that Nokia has changed its position.
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For the first time in last 14 years, Samsung has gone past Nokia for the first time to become no. 1 phone maker in the world. According to new data from IHS iSuppli, the makers of the popular Galaxy smartphones are the top phone maker in 2012. Samsung accounts for about 29 percent of global mobile phone shipments, up from 21 percent in 2011 when it had grabbed the no. 2 spot. Nokia, in the meanwhile, has seen its shares dropping from 30 percent to 24 this year. Nokia has ruled the mobile phone market since 1998.
According to Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS, smartphones have emerged as the fastest-growing segment market as they account almost half of all wireless handset shipments in 2012. Global smartphone shipments are expected to grow by 35.5 percent this year whereas cellphone shipments are likely to grow 1 percent. Smartphone penetration in 2012 is expected to hit 47 percent, high from 35 percent in 2011. Next year, the penetration is likely to reach 59 percent in 2013, marking a "significant tipping point" in the cellphone market.
"The competitive reality of the cell phone market in 2012 was 'live by the smartphone; die by the smartphone,'" Lam said in a statement. "Samsung's successes and Nokia's struggles in the cell phone market this year were determined entirely by the two companies' divergent fortunes in the smartphone sector."
IHS iSuppli points out that Samsung has released a lot of phones in a short span of time, launching dozens of new models each year, which range from high-end to budget devices. Nokia, the research firm notes, has only been “mired” in switching over its smartphones to Windows OS. Sales of Nokia's Symbian-based phones have gone down.
"Samsung made significant gains in both the high end as well as the low-cost market with its Galaxy line of smartphones," IHS iSuppli said. "This diversified market approach has allowed Samsung to address a larger target audience for its phones than Apple's limited premium iPhone line."