Feature Article

August 15, 2012

In Suddenly Struggling Smartphone Market, Samsung is New King of the Hill

While most people would almost certainly assume the smartphone market is only growing, industry analyst Gartner claims the market actually shrunk over the same period from last year. 

In total, Gartner claims the worldwide mobile smartphone market decreased 2.3 percent in the second quarter of this year compared to the second quarter of 2011. The reasons for the decline don’t appear to be much of a mystery to Gartner, who attributes the stint to a still slumping economy and excitement over the impending release of the iPhone 5

Gartner went on to say that the third quarter of 2012 could be affected by this downturn as well, and that it may be “weaker than usual” for Apple. Some of Gartner’s predictions on whether or not Apple could have a bad third quarter are based on not knowing exactly when the newest iteration of the iPhone is released. 

Most people seem to expect the phone to hit store shelves in September. Some companies are betting the farm on the iPhone 5 arriving sooner rather than later, and are even cutting the price of the year-old iPhone 4S.

The Apple iPhone does explain why so many phones in the Android market have suffered in the second quarter of this year, and whether it is customers considering changing phones or merely the fact that they don’t have as much money in their pocket as they once did. 

In the Market share arena, Nokia saw its market share slip three points year over year, as it was hit especially hard, seeing a sales slip of more than 14 percent. LG, HTC, Motorola and Blackberry all saw their market shares drop as well. 

The winners in the market share wars were Apple and Samsung – the latter was the biggest winner. Apple saw its market share increase 2.3 percent while Samsung got a boost in its share by 5.3 percent.

Samsung actually overtook Nokia as the company with the largest total market share. Samsung currently holds 21.6 percent of the market compared to Nokia’s 19.9 percent.

Last year at this time, Nokia had a 22.8 – 16.3 advantage.

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Edited by Braden Becker

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