Report: Apple and Samsung dominate Q4 with 51 percent of global smartphone market

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Q4 2012 estimates from Strategy Analytics

While Samsung has conveniently left specific smartphone sales numbers out of its Q4 earnings release yesterday (as usual), today we get a look at the latest estimates for the quarter coming from research firms Strategy Analytics and IDC.

We know that Apple sold 47.8 million iPhones during the quarter, and today both research firms put Samsung just over 63 million units for Q4 2012. That means Samsung was able to capture 29 percent of the market last quarter (up from 36.2 million units and 22.5-percent of the market in the year ago quarter). Apple is of course a close second among the top five smartphone vendors with 21.8-percent—down slightly from the 23 percent it held in the same quarter last year. In Q4 2011, Apple and Samsung were neck and neck at about 23 percent of the market each.

The increasing market share for Apple, and especially Samsung, over the past year comes at the expense of Nokia. It experienced a drop from 16 percent to 5 percent of the market during the past year.  Read more

Study: Smartphone owners demand bigger screens, prefer 4+ inches

An interesting study out of Strategy Analytics today says that United States and United Kingdom smartphone owners “prefer device screens in the 4.0-inch to 4.5-inch range, as long as the device is also thin.”

“Almost 90 percent of existing smartphone owners surveyed chose a prototype smartphone with a display larger than their current device,” commented Paul Brown, a Director in the Strategy Analytics User Experience Practice. “This trend is driven by increased mobile web browsing ability, as well as engaging video and gaming experiences.”

Not surprisingly, women overall chose smaller phones than men, and existing Android users chose bigger screens than iPhone users. Still, it seems Apple’s customers would prefer a bigger screen.

Kevin Nolan, Vice-President for the User Experience Practice at Strategy Analytics, added, “In order for smartphone owners to adopt larger devices, it is important for handset manufacturers to ensure that mobile devices are not too heavy and that the devices remain thin enough for purses and pockets.”

The data seems to line up with our January poll of 9to5Mac readers in which the majority prefers the next iPhone to be 4-inches or more:

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Amazon’s Kindle Fire reduces Apple’s lead, but iPad still rules holiday quarter with 58 percent market share

Apple’s iPad maintained its market lead throughout fourth quarter of last year even though it lost some ground compared to the previous quarter due to an influx of Android-based tablets. In fact, Amazon’s dirt-cheap Kindle Fire device that costs just $199 saved the day for Android slates, really. This is the gist of the latest survey by research firm Strategy Analytics that was released this morning.

Global tablet shipments reached 26.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011— up 150 percent from 10.7 million from the year-ago quarter. Global tablet shipments hit 66.9 million units throughout 2011— a 260 percent increase from just 18.6 million units in 2010. Looking at how tablet vendors performed throughout Q4 2011, the survey recorded a 39.1 percent share for tablets powered by Android. Even though it is a record for tablets driven by Google’s software, Apple sold 15.43 million iPads during the holiday quarter for a healthy 57.6 percent share. This left the remaining 3 percent for tablets outside the Android/iOS tablet duopoly, with Microsoft-driven devices holding onto 1 percent share of the market.

This compares to a Strategy Analytics’ survey for the September 2011 quarter that depicted a 27 percent share for Android tablets in Q3 2011 (up from 2.3 percent in Q3 2010) and 67 percent for iPad (down from 96 percent in Q3 2010). Android tablets are clearly picking up steam, largely based on the success of Amazon’s device that launched Oct. 15, 2011. Still, the iPad is expected to remain king of the hill as analysts expect its lead to maintain throughout 2012.

Strategy Analytics Research Director Peter King opined:

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Apple releases Apple TV update 4.4.4 (9A406a), small iOS 5.0.1 update

Apple has just released an update for the 2nd generation Apple TV, version 4.4.4 (9A406a). As of now we know the update brings bug fixes, but we’re checking for more. Hit up your Apple TV to download the new firmware or hit up the direct link.

Update: Apple has also released a small update to the iPhone 4S, bringing it to version iOS 5.0.1 (9A406). Hit up the the direct link.

Update X2: Apple has dropped a note saying that this update fixes SIM card issues on the iPhone 4S.

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Market shifts: Samsung beats iPhone in sales, ZTE passes Apple in global cell phone volume

The third quarter of 2011 marks a shift in the cell phone biz as Samsung takes the smartphone crown from Apple and China’s ZTE rises to become the world’s fourth-largest cell phone vendor by volume and Apple slides to fifth place. The bad news for Cupertino arrives just as the company for the first time in years missed Street expectations after shipping 17.07 million iPhones in the September quarter, a modest 21 percent annual growth and a notable 16 percent quarterly decline in units. As you recall, Apple in the June quarter sold 20.34 million iPhones, allowing them to beat Nokia and Samsung and become the world’s leading smartphone vendor, prompting Samsung to stop divulging smartphone and tablet shipments for competitive reasons.

Everyone was waiting for the new iPhone 4S.

Samsung today posted their quarterly earnings and they passed iPhone by an estimated ten million units. According to Reuters which cited a Strategy Analytics survey, Samsung shipped about 27.8 million smartphones, up nearly four times annually and 44 percent sequentially. This gave Samsung a 23.8 percent global market share in smartphones vs. 14.8 percent for Apple. Such a strong growth is attributed to their Galaxy smartphones, particularly the Galaxy S II model which sold ten million units in the five months since its introduction. Strategy Analytics attributed Samsung’s success to “a blend of elegant hardware designs, popular Android services, memorable sub-brands and extensive global distribution”, adding:

After just one quarter in the top spot, Apple slipped behind Samsung to second position and captured 15 percent share. Apple’s global smartphone growth rate slowed to just 21 percent annually in Q3 2011, its lowest level for two years. We believe Apple’s growth during the third quarter was affected by consumers and operators awaiting the launch of the new iPhone 4S in the fourth quarter, volatile economic conditions in several key countries, and tougher competition from Samsung’s popular Galaxy S II model.

Apple also slid to fifth place in Strategy Analytics’s worldwide cell phone rankings as ZTE shipped 18.5 million handsets for a five percent global market share. Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the October 4 iPhone 4S introduction that iPhone had five percent share of the global cell phone market, hinting at Apple’s phone strategy:


via Fortune

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