A man uses Samsung Electronics' new Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone during its launch at The Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London
A man uses Samsung Electronics' new Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone during its launch at The Earls Court Exhibition Centre in LondonReuters

International market research firm Strategy Analytics claimed that the global smartphones' record of 700 million shipments were lead by market leaders Samsung and Apple.

According to Strategy Analytics' subsidiary WSS (Wireless Smartphone Strategies) Service survey, global smartphone shipments for the full year reached a record 700.1 million units in 2012, increasing robustly from 490.5 million shipments in 2011.

The research firm claimed that the South Korean electronics behemoth Samsung captured 30 percent market share with a record shipment of 213.0 million smartphones. Samsung's record breaking feat made it the only smartphone vendor in history to reach that milestone in a year.

Samsung's dominance is attributed to the company's versatility of bringing different smartphones with varying prices to meet different budget needs of consumers.

Samsung's arch rival Apple came a distant second with 19 percent market share. The Cupertino-based company shipped 135.8 million smartphones worldwide in 2012. The research firm claimed that despite Apple's strong following in developed countries. Apple's limited presence in the emerging markets of Africa and Asia made it come second to Samsung.

Finnish handset maker Nokia, which is currently running high on its better than expected sales of its Lumia smartphones, is positioned third in the chart. Despite Nokia making 35.0 million shipments in 2012, its global market share dropped from 16 percent to five percent during the past year.

Nokia is known for its ubiquitous basic handsets, but the company was a little late to respond to the smartphone trend, thus leading it to fall behind Samsung and Apple in the global smartphone market.  

Global Mobile Phone Vendor Shipments and Market share in 2011 & 2012

Smartphone Vendor

Smartphone shipments 2011

(in millions)

Global Market Share 2011

Smartphone shipments 2012

(in millions)

Global Market Share 2012



19.9 %


30.4 %



19.0 %


19.4 %



15.8 %


5.0 %



45.4 %


45.2 %



100 %


100 %

Total Growth

Year-over-Year  %


63.8 %



42.7 %


By looking at the table's record breaking statistics, we find a contrasting result at the last row of the table. The year-to-year growth of smartphone shipments during 2010-11 is found to be 63. 8 percent. Last year's growth is tabled as 42.7 percent, 21.1 percent down compared to the previous year's 63.8 percent growth.

The primary reason behind the staggered growth is because of the saturation of smartphone penetration in the markets of developed countries like North America and Western Europe.

Future smartphone sales growth can be expected to be fueled by emerging markets such as India, China and other African countries.

(With inputs from Strategy Analytics)