Apple blows past Samsung to become top smartphone vendor for 4Q 2011

Apple blows past Samsung to become top smartphone vendor for 4Q 2011

Summary: Apple grabs a 23.8% market share.

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While smartphone makers such as HTC, LG and Nokia have all been warning that sales of smartphones are in decline, here's one company reaping the benefits of soggy sales by these vendors, Apple.

According to figures released by Gartner smartphone sales for the period came to a staggering 149 million units in Q4 2011, a 47.3 percent increase compared to the year-ago quarter.

Apple had a spectacular quarter, selling some 35.5 million units and grabbing a 23.8 percent market share, a figure which now means the Cupertino giant has overtaken Samsung to become the top smartphone vendor. Gartner does however issue a few words of caution and tells us not to expect more of the same next quarter, pointing out that demand for the new iPhone 4S drove Apple to the top spot.

"The quarter saw Samsung and Apple cement their positions further at the top of the market as their brands and new products clearly stood out," Gartner said.

Big names such as LG, RIM, Sony Ericsson, and Motorola all saw a decline in market share, partly due to Apple, but also due to price pressures from ZTE and Huawei, especially in price-sensitive emerging markets.

Bottom line, all the other players are suffering mostly because people are buying iPhones, but also because of pressure from the low end.

Nokia kept the top spot as the world's largest phone maker (dumbphones and smartphones), with a 23.4 percent share of the total mobile device market (but note that this has slid down from 27.1 percent from the year-ago quarter). However, Samsung is close on Nokia's heels with 19.4 percent of the mobile market; a figure that's up from 17.5 percent during the year-ago quarter.

It was also a good quarter for Android, with the operating system accounting for 50.9 percent of all smartphone sales, up from 30.5 percent compared to the year-ago quarter.

Topics: Samsung, Apple, Enterprise Software, Hardware, HTC

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32 comments
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  • RE: Apple blows past Samsung to become top smartphone vendor for 4Q 2011

    I guess that is what happens when you get Lawyers and Court Systems to put holds on selling your competitors products for no real good reason.
    bobiroc
    • RE: Apple blows past Samsung to become top smartphone vendor for 4Q 2011

      @bobiroc (Cr) Apple should lose the ability to sell phones in many countries. It would serve them right. Microsoft is preparing for a monster quarter, with WP sales expected to reach epic proportions. Nokia is launching the Lumia 900 in the US next month. the phone is legendary, and will help WP 7 pass the iJunk phone in marketshare this year.
      Stephen-B
      • Hate much?

        @Stephen-B
        Bobiroc makes a logical point. Your post is nothing more than hate and vitriol. You may be right, personally I don't think so, but I will never take you seriously until you learn to make your argument like an adult.

        Oh look, there's no line at the sliding board! Run along now little one.
        use_what_works_4_U
      • Rick_Kl: why the sudden hate for Apple?

        @Stephen-B / Rick_Kl
        When you posted here under the name "Rick_Kl" you used to love everything Apple. Did you get fired from your job at an Apple store? Is that why suddenly you hate the company you used to love so much?

        Or are you just a reverse troll?
        toddbottom2
    • Goes both ways

      @bobiroc
      Yeah, Apple could do very well to stay out of the courts. On the other hand, no one (of the majors) other than Samsung has so blatantly ripped off the iPhone total design from the icons they use to the box they pack phones in.

      There are a lot of Android phones that compete very well with the iPhone and they don't do it by trying to be "the same as an iPhone but cheaper". They do it with good quality, and a very nice OS. Samsung really should have hired some creative designers for their product. I would like to see them do a good job in their own right, not try to 'compete' by being "just like an iPhone but cheaper". If I want an iPhone, I'll buy an iPhone (and I have) - that's why carriers subsidize them. If I want an Android, I will buy an Android (and I have). Cost to the consumer is negligibly different from smartphone to smartphone so Samsung's apparent strategy of a cheap knock-off is flawed from the get-go. It's like Chevy making the Volt look like a Tesla. They are leaching off of someone else's design instead of creating their own.
      use_what_works_4_U
      • RE: Apple blows past Samsung to become top smartphone vendor for 4Q 2011

        @use_what_works_4_U

        I never saw the boxes the Samsung phones and tablets came in that Apple said looked like their products but from what I saw in the articles and blogs comparing the devices side by side I did not think they looked all that much alike. Well at least not enough to warrant a lawsuit. The phone/tablet (and I am sure the boxes) were clearly labeled Samsung which should be the first clue it is not an Apple product. I mean many people call my Chevrolet HHR a PT Cruiser even though it is clearly labeled with the Chevrolet badge and HHR on the back. I think the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius look a like from a distance or quick glance but it would be stupid for me not to see the branded logos on the car. There are Chinese and other foreign companies that make exact duplicates of products from other companies at least in appearance and I have not heard Apple going after them. I am not saying they are not going after them but I think Apple only pushed hard with Samsung because they were a threat to them. Of course I am also not saying that Samsung did not take some design queues from Apple either, but not enough to warrant a lawsuit in my opinion.
        bobiroc
      • Fair enough

        @bobiroc
        I disagree on some points, but your opinion is informed and well stated. Thanks for the elaboration.
        use_what_works_4_U
    • No good reason or every reason?

      @bobiroc... Where does one draw the line on lawsuits? When a company uses one's own name? When a company uses one's own product name? When one company uses one's logo? Those are easy but what about a product that looks strangely enough like the very product you make? How about the tech behind the look alike product? When these questions represent millions even billions of dollar can one avoid lawsuits? I don't think so cause I an Apple shareholder can sue Apple for not protecting my investment if they DO NOT sue and this has happened before and will likely happen again. Who defines what a good reason is in these cases?

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • RE: No good reason or every reason?

        @James Quinn

        Tell apple that. They had no problem taking the iPhone name away from Linksys without permission and frequently use tech from other companies and violate patents. All I am saying is looking at the devices in question I found it hard to believe that anyone could think they could be mistaken for the same device aside from a quick glance, from a distance, or out of pure ignorance. Especially with SAMSUNG clearly labeled on the device.
        bobiroc
      • Back in the original iMacs day there was a Korean company that

        @bobiroc... made a bondi blue iMac wannabe running Windows. Apple sued and the Korean company claimed that the name they used was not iMac. That the logo on the machine was clearly NOT Apple and that their computer ran Windows not the Mac OS. They lost by the way. Now you could argue that customers could very well have known that though this thing did look very much like an iMac it was not impossible for a careful customer to tell the difference. However I would point out that "some" on this very sight often argue that customers especially Apple users are not very smart and in fact could be said to be unable to judge such simple things as value from themselves:P<br><br>Pagan jim
        James Quinn
      • RE: Apple blows past Samsung to become top smartphone vendor for 4Q 2011

        @Pagan jim

        I understand your points and I remember that iMac copy back in the day and I think the company was Future Power which was affiliated with Daewoo. I guess I just think that many smart phones and tablets look very similar across the board. I guess that is what you get when you work with such a small product that usually comes in black or white. The Samsung phone was slightly larger, had a thicker frame around the main case and the screen part was recessed unlike the iPhone 3G/GS they were comparing it to. Even after the redesign Apple is still pushing hard on Samsung and they lost their latest claim I believe.

        I think the whole patent and copyright system is flawed anyway but Apple is far from innocent in stealing from other companies too.

        This is just my opinion and you are welcome to disagree. Samsung should have been more careful when they designed those devices but sometimes it seems like Apple thinks they rule the world and they can steal and take what they want from other companies and get defended by many fans but if someone else even remotely looks like or mimics even slightly an Apple product they are evil. Oh and let's not get started if some company wants to use a lower case "i" in front of a word. I mean Apple owns that whole concept even though it was used before Apple did to signify an internet capable device just like the letter "e" was used in front of words like email to signify electronic. I mean Linksys made an iPhone which was a WiFi VOIP phone before Apple did and they just took the name without any permission and Cisco used the initials iOS well before Apple did.
        bobiroc
      • But they did settle amicably with CISCO the parent company of Lynksys

        @Bobiroc...Also I'm not certain Apple even knew ahead of time there was a prioduct called the iPhone? After all I had never heard of it and I wonder how many had at that time? Can even Apple's lawyers know of everything out there especially if it's obscure? Which brings me back to the name issue Apple and Cisco settled this one. Does Apple offer Samsung and others the same option? Now I ask you this since Samsung is an parts supplier even to Apple how much time and money does Samsung have to spend to develop a proven success model phone when it already know and owns the very parts that go into a phone researched and developed by another and all the initial risk of said models introduction being made by the "other" organization?

        Pagan Jim
        James Quinn
      • RE: Also I'm not certain Apple even knew ahead of time

        @James Quinn

        Are you serious. This is the defending of Apple I am talking about. The name iPhone was owned by infogear in 1997/98 and then Cisco acquired that company in 2000. Down the road a few years Cisco bought Linksys and they re-released an iPhone in 2006 on a name they owned for at least 8 years. The Apple iPhone was released in 2007. So you mean to tell me that Apple and/or their lawyers could not Google "iPhone" back in 2006. Sure it was an obscure product but it was a product listed on Cisco's and Linksys' webpage and they are a very big company.
        bobiroc
      • Yeah it is all a game.....

        @bobiroc.. I think in the end Apple decided that with the iPod and iTunes the "i" thing was set into motion and decided to go with it. Now what they thought Cisco's response would be I don't know but obviously they and Cisco could and did settle it to what I can only think was Apple's advantage for I can't speak for Cisco and what they got out of the eventual deal? But that is the nature of the whole thing anyway companies sue or hold the threat of a suit for advantages often times not known by the outside observer. It's all a game. Now what about my other point in advantages of being a supplier to the stars as it were?

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
    • RE: Apple blows past Samsung to become top smartphone vendor for 4Q 2011

      @bobiroc i like the way you think i am just tire of thouse who do not remember the past achevements of others who we still work off today peace
      sarai1313@...
  • RE: Apple blows past Samsung to become top smartphone vendor for 4Q 2011

    i had to check but i was right c.b.s. dos own a big block of apple .so gos the push for apple. tell me i am wrong.please any company that uses demograftic infomation taken from devices with the nolage of the user should be punished under the same laws as wire tapping . an befor some tells me i have brain damage or to learn to spell i am dyslixic.peace oh by the way i have on prblem with any company including apple producing any thing they want but i do on how they try to minipulate the buyer
    sarai1313@...
    • This is just reporting about an analysis from another organization.

      @sarai1313@... Should they ignore it because while it is tech related you and some of your ilk don't want to hear it? They did not create this report they are just making us aware of it and the results.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • RE: Apple blows past Samsung to become top smartphone vendor for 4Q 2011

        @James Quinn no i lison to all i just dont fallow like the rest of the sheep
        sarai1313@...
      • RE: Apple blows past Samsung to become top smartphone vendor for 4Q 2011

        @James Quinn no i lison to all i just dont fallow like the rest of the sheep
        sarai1313@...
    • So what?

      @sarai1313@...
      Any corporation that invests is going to invest in AAPL right now. They'd be stupid not to. Did you look to see if they also invest in Intel? Microsoft? I don't know, but I would be surprised if they don't. Or did you simply check long enough to support your argument?
      use_what_works_4_U