According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics (http://www.strategyanalytics.com), global smartphone shipments grew 54% annually to reach a record 155 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011. Apple reclaimed top position as the world’s number one smartphone vendor during the quarter.
“Global smartphone shipments grew 54% annually to reach a record 155.0 million units in Q4 2011,” says Alex Spektor, associate director at Strategy Analytics. “Apple overtook Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone vendor by volume with 24% market share. Apple’s global smartphone shipments surged 128% annually to 37 million units, as distribution of the iPhone family expanded across numerous countries, dozens of operators and multiple price points.”
Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, adds: “While Apple took the top spot in smartphones on a quarterly basis, Samsung became the market leader in annual terms for the first time with 20 percent global share during 2011. With global smartphone shipments nearing half a billion units in 2011, Samsung is now well positioned alongside Apple in a two-horse race at the forefront of one of the world’s largest and most valuable consumer electronics markets.”
And according to ABI Research (http://www.abiresearch.com), for the first time since Android was introduced, its market share declined from its a third quarter high of 52.5% to 47.0% in the fourth quarter. Despite Samsung’s 33 million shipments as the head Android OEM [original equipment manufacturer], Apple’s iPhone 4S cut Samsung off at the knees and outpaced Samsung’s highly coveted 280% year-over-year smartphone growth.