Gartner: Samsung's sales dominance overshadowing Android brand
Samsung Electronics dominated both worldwide smartphone sales and overall mobile phone sales in 2012, and research firm Gartner contends the manufacturer's brand is now eclipsing Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android brand in the minds of consumers.
Gartner reports that Samsung sold 64.5 million smartphones during the fourth quarter, up 85.3 percent over the final three months of 2011. The vendor sold 384.6 million phones last year, with smartphones accounting for 53.5 percent of that total, compared to 28 percent a year earlier. Samsung ended 2012 controlling 22 percent of worldwide mobile phone sales, ahead of Nokia (NYSE:NOK) at 19.1 percent and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) at 7.5 percent. Samsung's closest Android rival, ZTE, follows at 3.9 percent.
"With Samsung commanding over 42.5 percent of the Android market globally, and the next vendor at just 6 percent share, the Android brand is being overshadowed by Samsung's brand, with the Galaxy name nearly a synonym for Android phones in consumers' mind share," said Anshul Gupta, Gartner principal research analyst.
Worldwide mobile phone sales totaled 1.75 billion units in 2012, a 1.7 percent decline from 2011. Gartner chalks up the slide to weakening demand for feature phones as well as tough economic conditions, but notes smartphone sales reached a record 207.7 million units during the fourth quarter, a 38.3 percent year-over-year leap.
Android powered 69.7 percent of smartphones sold during the fourth quarter, compared to 51.3 percent a year earlier. Apple's iOS followed at 20.9 percent, sliding from 23.6 percent during the fourth quarter of 2011; BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) is next at 3.5 percent, plummeting from 8.8 percent a year ago but remaining ahead of Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone, which increased from 1.8 percent.
Gartner predicts worldwide smartphone will close in on 1 billion units in 2013, with overall mobile phone sales estimated to reach 1.9 billion units. "2013 will be the year of the rise of the third ecosystem as the battle between the new BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone intensifies," Gupta said. "As carriers and vendors feel the pressure of Android's growth, alternative operating systems such as Tizen, Firefox, Ubuntu and Jolla will try and carve out an opportunity by positioning themselves as profitable alternatives."
- read this release
Canalys: Android powers one-third of all phones shipped in Q4
comScore: Windows Phone U.S. market share declines to 2.9 percent
Android, iOS power record-high 92 percent of smartphone shipments in Q4
Apple's iPhone crushes Android to claim Q4 smartphone sales crown
Forecast: Windows Phone shipments in 2017 will match iOS shipments in 2012
Google's Schmidt: Android winning the mobile war against Apple
IDC: Apple must offer low-cost phones to keep pace with Android