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26 December 2012

Samsung Dethrones Nokia as Top Cellphone Brand in 2012

Samsung has ended Nokia's 14-year reign, dethroning the Finnish company to become the top cellphone brand in 2012, according to a new report.

The Korean electronics giant is expected to capture 29% of worldwide cellphone shipments; that's up from 24% last year, the IHS iSuppli Mobile and Wireless Communications Service said in a release. In comparison, Nokia's market share will fall to 24% from 30% last year, the research firm added.

Trailing in third place is Apple, which is predicted to take 10% of shipments (up from 7% in 2011). ZTE follows in fourth place with 6%, remaining steady since last year, while LG ends up in fifth place with 4% (down from 6%).

As last year's runner-up, Samsung edged out previous incumbent Nokia, which held the top spot since 1998. It's the first time that the Korean company will reign supreme "on a yearly basis," IHS said.

Samsung's success is due to its ability to appeal to a wide range of consumers by offering a variety of phones.

"The company produces dozens of new smartphone models every year that address all segments of the market, from the high end to the low end," IHS explained. "Samsung monitors the big trends in smartphone design, user needs and unmet market opportunities, then creates products to fit those markets quickly and efficiently."

Samsung also boasts the best performance among smartphone brands, with its share of global shipments jumping to 28% from 20% last year. Nokia, in third place, suffers the biggest loss here, with its share plunging to 5% from 16%. Apple sits in second place, followed by HTC and RIM in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Nokia has struggled to transition from its older Symbian-based phones to its newer Windows 7-based handsets, IHS said. The result has been declining shipments, with the Windows phones failing to make up for sluggish sales of the Symbian phones, the firm added.

In general, global smartphone shipments are set to increase by 35.5% this year, while overall cellphone shipments will only rise by 1%.