In summary, here's the picture for overall mobile sales, courtesy of IDC:
Top Five Mobile Phone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q4 2011 (Units in Millions)
|Vendor||4Q11 Shipments||4Q11 Market Share||4Q10 Shipments||4Q10 Market Share||Y-over-Y Change|
Although Nokia is still comfortably the top selling phone maker in the world, its lead has been halved by Samsung, while Apple is now firmly in third place with its much more profitable iPhone range. The whole market grew by 6%, year on year, less than in previous years but still heading upwards, in line with population and increased penetration in developing markets.
The table below shows the breakdown in terms of 'smartphones', though the very definition is something which is coming under increasing attack, not least from (what were previously considered) 'feature' phones, which increasingly have full Internet access, email and social clients, touch-based games, and more...
|Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments
(Millions of Units)
|Q4 '10||Whole of 2010||Q4 '11||Whole of 2011|
It's not entirely clear whether Samsung's Bada phones are included in the total above. Nokia's sales of 19.6 smartphones (around 95% Symbian) in Q4 would, a few years ago, have been dominant, but it's a sign of the times that smartphone market leaders, Samsung and Apple, both managed around 37 million sales in the same period. Over the course of the year there wasn't that big a difference between the top three and Samsung, Apple and Nokia are way ahead of the trailing pack, just as they are for wider mobile handset sales.
Significantly, the entire 'smartphone' market grew by 63% over the year, a big contrast to the 6% growth of the overall market. The 'smartphone' segment is now up to 36% and will be 50% by the end of 2012, surely a sign that we should soon drop the moniker altogether and just talk about 'phones'? If nothing else, it would make these news stories simpler to write and simpler to understand!