FRAMINGHAM, Mass. May 1, 2012 – The worldwide mobile phone market declined 1.5% year over year in the first quarter of 2012 (1Q12), as Samsung ousted longtime leader Nokia to become the world’s top mobile phone vendor. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped 398.4 million units in 1Q12 compared to 404.3 million units in the first quarter of 2011.
Nokia has been the global market leader in total mobile phone shipments since the inception of IDC’s Mobile Phone Tracker in 2004. Samsung’s ascension to the market’s top spot is largely a reflection of its gains in the smartphone market over the past two years. “The halcyon days of rapid growth in the smartphone market have been good to Samsung,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker program. “Samsung has used its established relationships with carriers in a mix of economically diverse markets to gain share organically and at the expense of former high fliers such as Nokia.”
Meanwhile, the worldwide smartphone market grew 42.5% year over year in 1Q12, as Samsung overtook Apple for the smartphone leadership position. Vendors shipped 144.9 million smartphones in 1Q12 compared to 101.7 million units in 1Q11. The 42.5% year-over-year growth was 1% higher than IDC’s forecast of 41.5% for the quarter, and lower than the 57.4% growth in the fourth quarter of 2011.
“The race between Apple and Samsung remained tight during the quarter, even as both companies posted growth in key areas,” said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC’s Mobile Phone Technology and Trends program. “Apple launched its popular iPhone 4S in additional key markets, most notably in China, and Samsung experienced continued success from its Galaxy Note smartphone/tablet and other Galaxy smartphones. With other companies in the midst of major strategic transitions, the contest between Apple and Samsung will bear close observation as hotly-anticipated new models are launched.”
Smartphone Vendor Highlights
Samsung reclaimed the smartphone leadership position and established a new market record for the number of smartphones shipped in a single quarter. Propelling the company forward was continued expansion of its Galaxy portfolio in nearly all directions – new and old smartphones, product and market segmentation, and multiple price points, screen sizes, and processor speeds.
Apple slipped to second place in the worldwide smartphone market, but nonetheless posted strong year-over-year growth to reach 35.1 million units shipped. Apple’s gains in the market benefited from iPhone availability at additional mobile operators worldwide, as well as sustained end-user demand among both consumers and enterprise users.
Nokia’s Symbian phone shipments declined precipitously last quarter as demand dropped in key emerging markets, such as China. The company’s current smartphone woes make a speedy transition to products powered by the Windows Phone operating system, upon which it has bet its smartphone future, critical.
Research In Motion’s BlackBerry unit decline continued last quarter, reaching levels not seen since 2009. Like Nokia, RIM is a company in transition. Smartphones running on its new platform, BB 10, will be released later this year. Until then, results like these may be a sign of things to come.
HTC’s struggles in the U.S. market once again negatively affected its overall performance. However, its relatively strong performance in Asia/Pacific still allowed the company to maintain its position among the top 5 smartphone vendors. The company is staking future success in large part on its One X and S products.
Top Five Worldwide Smartphone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q1 2012 (Units in Millions)
|Vendor||1Q12 Unit Shipments||1Q12 Market Share||1Q11 Unit Shipments||1Q11 Market Share||Year-over-year Change|
|Research In Motion||9.7||6.7%||13.8||13.6%||-29.7%|
Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, May 1, 2012
Note: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.
…if Microsoft opened a store to sell stuff for devices that run Microsoft operating systems, and then installed links to the store with OS updates? I mean, I can delete the App Store icon from my applications menu, but as of yesterday’s update, it’s in the damn system menu, too.
I was annoyed when Apple put the iDisk link in Finder by default, but at least you can remove that easily. And it’s kind of cute how excited Mac users are that there’s suddenly a glut of applications available to them, but (a) a link to the App Store is kind of like a shortcut—pardon me, an alias—to a browser that only opens one URL, and 2. putting that link in the system menu is vaguely embarrassing, like George W. Bush using a presidential debate to show off his knowledge of the Internets or something.
Doesn’t everyone love the Apple image? Did you know your iPod was built by a child in a forced labor camp? Still love the image? I found this article today Apple admits using child labour – Telegraph and I’ve got to say that I find it sickening.
This isn’t the evil Google, Microsoft, or Intel. This is everyone’s beloved Apple. This is the most politically correct company to ever grace the face of the earth, or so they’d like us to believe. And here they are engaged in the cruelest business practice one can think of. No, i guess I can think of worse. What’s next, knee-capping people who fall behind on their App Store payments?
So think of the little 10 year old boy who built your iPhone the next time you use it. How much cruelty are you perpetuating when you buy Apple’s products? Not only is this incongruous with their oh-so-carefully managed image, but it shows you what they’re capable of.
Before you jump to Apple’s defense, let me point out a few other things. Last year one of their employees committed suicide after leaving their Chinese plant. A few weeks ago workers in another one of their Chinese factories were exposed to n-hexane, a dangerous chemical that can cause you to go blind. And let’s not forget that Apple was also nailed last year for illegally disposing of electronics instead of taking care of the environment like they should.
So, what’s it going to be? Do you care about Apple’s human rights abuses? Or did they spray n-hexane in your eyes also so now you’re blind to their employment practices?
One of the unfortunate consequences of the revolution in publishing brought on by the web is that journalism has changed dramatically. As barriers to entry for starting a media outlet went down from high cost stuff like paper, shipping, real art, etc and eyeballs redirected onto the web, the value of the printed word has deteriorated.
It’s great that we can go online and find whatever we want. Sure, blogging and sharing opinions, user generated content, all that stuff is great to read.
The thing is that it has all become about eyeballs. Page views. It isn’t about quality content. Sites need keyword rich content on timely topics so they pop up in search engines and news feeds. A monkey can spit out something apple iphone, microsoft, cisco, new product keyword rich.
But where’s the expert analysis? There’s no way to get expert and helpful to the top spot on Google.
Now that page views are all that matter the quality of the content has become close to irrelevant. I’m sorry to say it. I wish I didn’t have to say it. Why can’t we do something smarter like measure how long someone reads a story? How far through something do they get?
I’m all for leveling the playing field, but I know a hell of a lot of people who are out of work now because the written word has decreased in value. Editors, writers, lab techs, even sales and marketing types. don’t forget the creative art people. Copy edit has been decimated.
So it occurred to me today, where do all those smart unemployed people go? How can we harness that energy? There must be a way we can band together to preserve the value of expert opinion, well written, well edited, well produced and on target content. I still believe content is king, but the king is being devalued at a dangerous pace.
By Sarah Pike
I’ve been bi-OS for a few years now. Historically, I’m a PC. Lately, I’m also a Mac. There are things I love about my Mac laptop: Its rock-solid reliability and instant resume from sleep. The simple way so many things just work. Then there are the issues that make me wonder what the hell decade we’re in. Like device eject, and the spectral files left behind on every USB device I plug in. But mainly, the eject business.
I can barely remember when we had to use the “Safely Remove Hardware” protocol on Windows machines, but OS X still requires it—and squawks if you remove a device before spending 5 seconds letting it shut down, and the device will often throw errors afterward.
Naturally, once the flash drive or camera or whatever is safe to disconnect, should you change your mind you’ll have to unplug and then reseat it to add more files or transfer more pictures. Then when you next connect the device to a Windows PC, ghost files—.Trashes, .System, and .anything-you-worked-on-directly-from-that-drive—remain.
Which brings me to another point. Both Mac and Windows OSes have had a trashcan metaphor since time out of mind. But once you delete something from a flash drive, it’s gone, for all intents and purposes. There is no trashcan or recycle bin the user can access to get the files back. So why on earth does a flash drive plugged in to a Mac not free up that disk space when files are deleted? Why should users have to empty both their inaccessible flash drive trash and their real, system trash? There’s no way to choose only the flash drive trash—that would still suck, but at least it would be a step in the right direction.
And now, in Leopard, one of my old peeves has been addressed—hallelujah, we can view the desktop as the file directory it is instead of having to shove windows to the side or temporarily banish them to the perimeter with F11. Now it is finally possible to have no Finder window open, so you may minimize other application windows and leave the desktop in focus. Simultaneously, the eject button has become unreliable. Awesome. I plug in my trusty flash drive, the drive appears on the screen. I double-click on it, or just open a new Finder window, deal with the files I need to deal with, then find I have no Eject button to unmount the drive. Around half the time, Ctrl-clicking on the drive yields a working Eject option; the rest of the time I get a message that the drive in question is busy, even though it’s not.
Windows has its share of problems, I know. But it seems as though Steve Jobs decided that this whole “plugging things in to the computer” was just a fad and that he’d do well to persuade users not to do it. There’s some analogy to the new Apple ads poking fun at “PC” for promising each new version of Windows would improve on the last…I just know there is.
By Sarah Pike
Like you, I’ve spent the past few years knowing, “There’s an app for that.” And every time I hear it, it bugs me. I didn’t really think about why, though, until recently.
Mac users have hugely embraced the iPhone App Store, not just as a convenient roundup of programs to buy for their smartphones, but as the towering, unassailable evidence of its superiority over other smartphones. Some non-Mac users have, even. My ex-boss parrots the line regularly. And why? I’d like to think it’s because Mac users aren’t used to having sufficient apps. Sadly, I have to conclude it’s because the average person can’t see past the clever Mac ad lines.
PC users have had apps coming out of their ears for, like, ever. Palm and Windows Mobile users have always had apps, many of them free. The most popular of which had nothing to do with flatulence.
But oh, the smug voice in the ads is telling you, “There’s an app for that.” Clearly, those things before the iPhone? Weren’t apps. Please. Give me an app to make iPhone users put their phones away while we’re having dinner, or an app that reminds iPhone users that their latest app helped Palm OS users for years before iPhone was a glimmer in Steve Jobs’ eye, maybe an app that flashes the message “iBaa.”