One of the biggest investment themes during 2012 has been the growth of mobile computing through the smartphone revolution. Preliminary data indicates that global shipments of smartphones grew more than 35% during 2012, as compared with growth of just 1% in the overall shipment of cell phones. This remarkable growth has driven smartphone penetration up to 47%.
As Motley Fool analyst Andrew Tonner discusses in the following video, the big winners in 2012 were Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Samsung, and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG). Apple and Samsung both grew market share through the shipment of popular smartphones, while Google's Android operating system runs devices made by Samsung and other manufacturers.
The losers in the smartphone revolution during 2012 were Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM). Both manufacturers lost market share to Apple and Samsung and are faced with an important test in 2013. Customer adoption of Nokia's Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows-based smartphones and Research In Motion's upcoming smartphone release represent critical turning points in which these companies can either regain momentum or see the industry leaders leaving them behind for good.
As Andrew discusses, there's no doubt that Apple is at the center of technology's largest revolution ever and that longtime shareholders have been handsomely rewarded, with more than 1,000% gains. However, there is a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and, more importantly, your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.