Global phone shipments hit 1.6 billion units in 2012, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics, with Samsung shipping a massive 396.5 million phones last year.
“Fuelled by robust demand for its popular Galaxy models, Samsung was the star performer, shipping a record 396.5 million mobile phones worldwide and capturing 25 percent market share to solidify its first-place lead,” Neil Shah, a senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement.
While 1.6 billion units is a huge number, it’s only a modest two percent growth, as demand slowed in mature markets like Europe and North America, and mobile operators made it more difficult for consumers to upgrade.
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Key Samsung competitor Apple shipped 135.8 million phones worldwide last year, which translates to 46 percent annual growth. That’s a record high number for Apple, and Samsung’s 396.5 million is a record for that company as well.
Meanwhile, Nokia retained a 21.3 percent global market share, proving that while it’s down, it’s not yet out. The Finnish company shipped 335.6 million phones in 2012, down from 417.1 million in 2011.
“Nokia’s dual-SIM feature phones, Asha touchphones, and Lumia handsets have been performing well, but this was not enough to offset a slump in demand for the company’s aging Symbian smartphone platform last year,” said Neil Mawston, Strategy Analytics’ executive director.
The top four mobile phone vendors by market share are now:
- Samsung: 396.5 million units
- Nokia: 335.6 million units
- Apple: 135.8 million units
- ZTE: 71.7 million units
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