Samsung: The only Android smartphone maker that matters

Samsung: The only Android smartphone maker that matters

Summary: The latest smartphone figures from analyst firm comScore show that Samsung is pretty much the only Android phone maker that matters.


Mobile analytic firm comScore released smartphone figures covering through December of 2012 and the strength of Samsung stands out in the crowded Android field. Apple is still the number one smartphone maker in the U.S. and Samsung is firmly number two while dominating the Android world.

Smartphone OEM 12-2012

Subscriber numbers for Apple iPhones and Samsung phones increased in the last quarter of 2012 by similar amounts, giving Apple a solid 36.3 percent and Samsung 21 percent. That puts Samsung close to 11 percent more than the next nearest competitor, HTC.

Note 2 and pen
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and S Pen

That's significant because Samsung is selling mostly Android phones while HTC is heavily pushing Windows Phones in addition to Android handsets. While Samsung's share grew 2.3 percent HTC's dropped 1.8 percent. You could almost say Samsung grew share at HTC's expense in spite of Windows Phone 8 launching during that quarter.

Motorola had a modest 0.7 percent drop in share over the same quarter but given HTC's larger drop only a percent point separates the two. LG actually gained half a point but still lags behind the other Android phone makers by at least two percentage points.

When you look at this chart, of the four top Android handset makers Samsung has market share at least double that of any of its competitors. It's three times that of LG, the number four Android phone maker.

This market share chart makes one thing crystal clear: Android phone makers are not only up against Apple and the iPhone. They are firmly competing with Samsung, too. It's almost unfair that Android OEMs have to compete against two big dogs.

See related:

Smartphone operating systems: The rise of Android, the fall of Windows

Apple first, Samsung second in U.S. smartphone market

Top Android apps for the Galaxy Note 2 including multi-view usage

Samsung invests in Wacom digitizer and pens

Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Big enough to be worth the trouble

Topics: Mobility, Android, Samsung

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  • Those are US figures

    But what about India and China, you know where 2bn+ people live.
    Alan Smithie
    • Not much different.

      Samsung is killing other Android OEMs and not Apple as the popular press would like people to believe.
      • India and China

        Apple cannot be killed because it is not even alive here in India. Even those few buy it have a terrible experience. They had no idea what they were getting into in the first place having bought into the media hype only to realize that all that Siri and Map are a total no-show. [The city where I live is a total emptiness on apple maps]. Better not say anything about Siri which is not even a joke. Then those ugly plastic covers that hide whatever supposed beauty
        • Still does not change my comment.

          Samsung is killing other Android OEMs and not Apple.
          • seriously?

            Samsung's >$500 phones are killing good $150 phones and fine $300 phones of Chinese manufacturers?
          • Sure

            Because I'm sure that saying something over and over will make it true.

            Gotta love fanboys in denial.
          • Re: Samsung is killing other Android OEMs and not Apple.

            But Apple is the one losing market share, not Android.
        • Funny you mentioned Apple is not in India

          Apple's iPhone sales has grown by as much as 400 percent in just three months in India.

          • 400% doesn't matter

            Apple will have to grow 400 times to be even visible in any statistics in India. It is not even .1% as of now. Also, most of the Iphones in India are those that have been bought in US and taken back.

            Further, iPhone is priced 40% higher in India compared to US whereas Samsung S3 is cheaper in India than in US. That is where Samsung is beating Apple.
          • Define "doesn't matter"

            Selling four times more high-margin devices than you did before is pretty good in my book. And every iPhone sold in India and China, is a high-value customer that Samsung didn't get. Apple doesn't have to sell tons of phones in developing markets. They only have to sell the phones to higher-end customers. Apple skims the cream off the high-end handset market same way that it does the $900+ notebook computer market. Once you have someone in your ecosystem, it takes a lot for them to want to leave.
          • True enough

            After all, if they only sold 1 last quarter, and they sold 4 this quarter, that's a whole 5 customers Samsung doesn't get. And since Apple owners proudly boast that they pay higher markups than any other phones, just think of the added cash in Apple's bottom line!
      • Samsumg

        The popular press does not want you to believe that Samsung is killing Apple; Rather it wants you to start paying attention at Apple's competition.
      • Re: Samsung is killing other Android OEMs

        Interesting, because most Android phones being sold today are not made by Samsung.
  • Great for U.S also see India

    This is really true samsung is the very growing up company also in brand, now a days indian also use this brand this is on top one
  • Fortunes will change

    I could see Nokia and probably a 'Surface' showing up in that top 5 list in an year or two...
    • And also in the news

      Andorra win the world cup.
      Alan Smithie
      • Lol. Well. played...

    • You could see

      In a pipe dream, yes.

      Nokia made the biggest mistake in their history to lay in bed with Microsoft.
    • Surface?

      So you are predicting a Surface Phone? Can't wait to see that tiny click on optional keyboard. Since we are making predictions here is mine. If Microsoft creates the "Surface Phone" it will effectively end the "Win Phone 8" product line.
  • Samsung, HTC, LG: what does it matter?

    What matters is not smartphone makers dominance, but smartphone OSes dominance. I care about Android, WP, iOS, not Samsung, HTC, Apple, LG.

    If I want to know what you use, tell me Android, not Samsung. Tell me WP, not HTC. Though for the iPhone and BlackBerry, it's the same as only one maker sells these OSes.