Q4 2012 Mobile-Phone Report: Android Captures 34%, Apple 11%

Independent IT analyst firm Canalys has published its Q4 mobile-phone shipment estimates, and the numbers are favorable to Google's (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) Android for the 50-plus countries the firm tracks.

At 438.1 million units shipped, there was no growth in the total phone market year over year. However, the smartphone market grew by 37%, comprising almost 50% of all phones. Android phones made up 34% of total phone shipments, while iOS phones accounted for only 11%. Within the smartphone market, Android handsets made up 69% of the 216.5 million total.

Among smartphone hardware manufacturers, Samsung topped the competition, shipping 74 million more handsets than Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) 101 million. Nokia  (NYSE: NOK  ) remained No. 3 with 35 million units. For the first time, Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE took third and fourth place, respectively. Meanwhile, Sony  (NYSE: SNE  ) fell out of the top five, while Lenovo moved in by shipping 9.5 million units.

The Chinese companies saw their shipments increase because of demand in their home markets and growing exposure to the United States. On the back of Chinese demand, Lenovo grew 216%, accounting for 98% of the company's shipments. Still, as analyst Jessica Kwee said, Lenovo struggles "to gain a foothold outside China and may be forced down the acquisition route -- as it was with its PC business -- hence the speculation" about a move from BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) .

Meanwhile, Apple's market share in China is lacking, largely because of high prices for its products, combined with a lack of presence on the China Mobile network. The report suggests that a cheaper device from Apple would "open the floodgates" there.


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  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2013, at 11:15 AM, sammycooool wrote:

    Apple is just one big failure after another. They can't get it right. Wait until news comes out that China doesn't do business with Apple, that was their only hope.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2013, at 11:23 AM, Ostrowsr wrote:

    And the opposite argument, Apple charges more, makes a huge profit and doesn't need to sell more than Samsung. AND since Samsung was found guilty of patent infringement, Apple will probably end up getting some of their profits too. Oh yah, when Apple comes out with low priced alternatives, then they'll probably sell more too. Not to mention the $140 Billion cash they have for added growth or value.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2013, at 11:40 AM, tychicum wrote:

    Android is so gawd awful Google gives it away for free. It is like comparing free beer swill with a quality brew.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2013, at 11:41 AM, tychicum wrote:

    Samsung also makes toilet seats and cheap microwave ovens.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2013, at 12:22 PM, alphashort wrote:

    This article is specious at best. First of all, to report what AAPL's share of the enire mobile phone market is is deceptive; either intentionally or unintentionally. AAPL does not sell feature phones. They are NOT in that market. The only phones that AAPL sells are smart phones. Of which they sold 48 million in just q4 2012 to Samsungs 15 million Galaxy IIIs; their premier smart phone. So more that three times as much as Samsung.

    Also, Samsung does not release unit numbers to anyone. So, this is being reported as fact, when, in fact, it is not and should not be articulated

    as such.

    Why don't I ever see stories about AAPL dominating mobile search with 88% of all mobile ecommerce being done on an ipad? Or how about that 70% of all mobile search is done on AAPL devices? Or how about with AAPL's (22%) relatively small market share of smart phones, they make 70% of all profits in the smart phone industry?

    Why don't I see articles about GOOG spying on all users of Andriod Devices? Why don't I see articles about malware in the Andriod ecosystem SKYROCKETING to 55k in the q4 2012 from 5k in q3 2012?

    I'm really starting to wonder where all the bias in the media is coming from. Is everyone on Samsung and Google's payroll?

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2013, at 12:27 PM, IonyxSephira wrote:

    Cheap calculator phones versus the big boy iphone just doesn't add up. To beat the best you have to be the best and consistley stay atop. So far apple has done a better than fine job at ruling the smartphone kingdom. You could sell a thousand to one android crap phones and they'll still never be as good as an iphone is. The original wii out sold all consoles combined but did it really hurt Xbox 360 or ps3? No i did not. Not even the slightest. That goes to show you when you make good products they cost a little more but set the standards that all other fail to achieve.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2013, at 1:08 PM, HarvardPeak wrote:

    This article is very typical of PUDs type and the advice is Go see doctor for ur mental illness and deep psychological problem.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2013, at 12:20 AM, zippero wrote:

    Kevin Chen: Please show you have some brains by mentioning in your article that Android's so-called dominant market share consists mostly of budget Android phones like Samsung's #1 phone in America, the $50 Galaxy Prevail sold by Boost Mobile, that mostly low-income people buy simply because it's cheap and probably just as a replacement for a feature phone.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2013, at 2:33 PM, Johnny5k wrote:

    Yet another article that fails to mention the fact that Apple's numbers are actual *sales* to consumers, while all other manufacturers only release their *shipped* numbers - which means they're counting millions of unsold handsets sitting on shelves.

    Also, as previously mentioned, comparing iPhone to Android is a bit disingenuous, because Android is sold on many handsets that are just cheap replacements for feature phones; many of which are made by Samsung, also skewing the comparisons between them and Apple.

    A much better takeaway from this report would have been: "Apple sells 1 out of every 10 phones worldwide!" Think about that - even with all the cheap Android and super cheap flip-phones & feature-phones, 1 in 10 is an iPhone.

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