Feature Article

July 27, 2012

Samsung is Back in the Top Position, Says IHS

Based on second quarter smartphone and cell phone shipments, information and analytics provider IHS reported that Korean consumer giant Samsung is back on the top. The Android smartphone maker has regained its leadership position in the smartphone market.

According to the data gathered by the research firm’s subsidiaries iSuppli and Screen Digest News Flash, Samsung in the second quarter regained leadership as its sales rose five percent to 36 million units, up from 34 million in the first quarter. Earlier, the Korean giant lost the top position in the smartphone market to Apple.

According to IHS, Samsung’s modest increase was propelled by strong growth in high-end smartphone shipments. While Apple’s shipments in the second quarter were impacted by a combination of factors, including macroeconomic variables, increased competition from newer smartphone offerings and delayed purchasing among consumers who are waiting for the availability of the next iPhone model. All this led to a buildup of channel inventory, resulting in lower-than-expected iPhone volumes, said IHS.

IHS said that the shipment information contained in this news flash and the tables represent outcome from cell phone and smartphone brands that have been reported. Brands that have not been reported yet are not included. The market watcher said that because Samsung does not provide precise shipment numbers, Samsung’s cell phone and smartphone shipment numbers shown in this release are estimated, and may differ from the interpretations of others. In a statement, said Wayne Lam, senior analyst, wireless communications, IHS, “At the end of the first calendar quarter, the supply-and-demand equation for iPhones was in balance.” “However, by the end of the second quarter, about 3 million iPhones built up in the sales channel that weren’t sold to consumers. This contributed to the slowdown in Apple’s shipments during the quarter, reminiscent of the deceleration Apple experienced in the third quarter of last year as consumers waited for the release of the iPhone 4S. Apple should see a rebound in shipments with the introduction of the next-generation iPhone model,” added Lam.

Meanwhile, smartphone shipments for Nokia declined further by 14 percent in the second quarter to 10 million units, down from 12 million in the first quarter. Commenting on Nokia, Lam said, “Nokia took an important step in its transition to the Windows operating system with sales of 4 million Lumia models in the second quarter.” “However, that was less than half of the total number of smartphones shipped by the company during the quarter. Thus, smartphones using the legacy Symbian operating system still outsold the Lumia Windows-based phones, indicating that Nokia still has a long to go to regain its footing in the market.” asserted Lam.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman

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