IHS: Samsung bumps Nokia as top cellphone maker worldwide

Move over, Nokia. Samsung has become the top cellphone maker worldwide in 2012, according to a new report.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

There's a lot of Samsung news out and about this morning, but here's something about which the Seoul-based corporation should be pleased.

Market intelligence firm IHS iSuppli issued a new report on Tuesday, declaring that Samsung became the top cellphone maker worldwide this year -- displacing Nokia from the top spot for the first time in 14 years.

It's no secret that Samsung's smartphone unit has soared in the last few years while its Finnish competitor's smartphone efforts have, well, not.

Describing that the basic mantra for 2012 was to "live by the smartphone; die by the smartphone," Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS, explained further in the report published on Tuesday about what we all might have expected:

Smartphones represent the fastest-growing segment of the cellphone market—and will account for nearly half of all wireless handset shipments for all of 2012. Samsung’s successes and Nokia’s struggles in the cellphone market this year were determined entirely by the two companies’ divergent fortunes in the smartphone sector.

For all cellphone shipments (including smartphones), Samsung is projected to grab the crown for 2012 with 29 percent of worldwide cellphone shipments -- up from 24 percent in 2011.

Nokia is predicted to drop from 30 percent in 2011 to 24 percent in 2012. The rest of the top five is made up of Apple, ZTE and LG, respectively.

When you take only smartphones into account, the placements shift around a bit. Samsung is still at the top of the pack, climbing remarkably from 20 percent of global shipments in 2011 to 28 percent in 2012.

On this list, Apple comes in second with a slight annual increase from 19 to 20 percent.

Nokia, however, fares far worse when you only take smartphones into account, tumbling from 16 percent to just 5 percent. HTC and RIM, also both suffering shipment declines, round out the top five.

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