Sony, HTC overtake RIM, Nokia in global shipments

Asian vendors dominate the global smartphone market, with Sony and HTC taking third and fourth ranks behind market leaders Samsung, which topped the list again, and Apple.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

Asian smartphone vendors dominated the global share of smartphone shipments in the third quarter of 2012, as Japan's Sony and Taiwan's HTC take third and fourth place, ahead of RIM and Nokia.

According to a Canalys report released Thursday, the global smartphone market shipped 173.7 million units in the third quarter, growing 44 percent year-on-year. Asia-Pacific accounted for more than 53 percent of the market, with smartphone volumes driven by China which broke through the 50 million-unit barrier.

Samsung topped the charts for the third consecutive quarter, ahead of Apple which placed second. Both vendors accounted for almost 50 percent of the global smartphone market.


According to additional stats from Canalys, Apple dropped out of China's top 5 smartphone ranks as low-cost Chinese smartphone player, Yulong, debuted at third position in the third quarter of 2012.

Samsung remained the top smartphone vendor in China at 14 percent, followed by Lenovo at 13 percent, with local Chinese vendors ZTE and Huawei taking forth and fifth place with about 10 percent each.

Sony and HTC in third and fourth place
Sony jumped to third place with 8.8 million units shipped, marking its first appearance in the top 5 since end-2006. The Japanese vendor had a strong brand relaunch, with new products shipped this quarter. Its Xperia P, Xperia S, Xperia U and Xperia tipo boosted shipments, especially in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia-Pacific.

Sony also topped the table in Japan with its new LTE products, the Xperia GX and Xperia SX, and accounted for over 14 percent of overall smartphone shipment in the country.

Even though the Japanese vendor has had global success, it must rethink its mobility strategy in the U.S. market where it held less than 0.5 percent market share in the third quarter, Chris Jones, co-founder, vice president and principal analyst at Canalys, said in the report.

HTC remained in fourth place, accounting for just 4.8 percent of the global smartphone market. Its devices had been highly competitive, such as the One Series, and multiple network and regional variations of the Desire V.

"While going head-to-head with the Samsung Galaxy S3 has been challenging, [HTC] has had strong sequential growth in major developing markets such as China and Indonesia," said Pete Cunningham, principal analyst at Canalys. The last quarter of the year, though, will be tough for HTC, along with the majority of Android- and Microsoft-based vendors, and continued investment in brand is of utmost importance, Cunningham said.

Ranked in fifth, RIM took 4.2 percent of market share.

North Asian vendors LG, ZTE, Lenovo and Huawei also overtook Nokia, as the vendor and consumers awaited October's Windows 8 launch.


Editorial standards