Samsung has overtaken Apple as the smart device market leader, after the South Korean company shipped more smartphones and portable PCs during 2012 than the iPhone 5 manufacturer.
According to the Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker report by IDC, which combines the shipments of desktop and portable PCs like notebooks and laptops, tablets and smartphones into one category, Samsung sold 250 million units during 2012. This is more than double the previous year’s 114 million unit figure.
In comparison, Apple shipped 218.7 million devices, still up 44 per cent from when it held the top spot in 2011, but not enough to catch up with Samsung’s achievements last year.
Receiving the top of the market crown was in part due to a sharp rise in Samsung smartphone sales, said IDC, but also because it sold more portable PCs than Apple last year.
However, it’s not all bad news for Apple, as the manufacturer is still the market leader for tablet devices, with the ever popular iPad 4 and iPad Mini still stealing the limelight away from Samsung tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 due to launch at MWC this month.
Samsung now has 20.8 per cent of the smart device market share with Apple pulling up just behind with 18.2 per cent. Lenovo now takes third place with 6.5 per cent of the overall connected device market share, with its shipments growing from 3.7 million in 2011 to 23.7 million last year.
“After falling well behind Samsung early in 2012, Apple came roaring back in the final quarter of the year thanks to its latest hits – the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini – and reduced the market share gap to less than a single percentage point,” said Bob O’Donnell, programme vice president for clients and displays at IDC.
“The question moving forward will be whether or not Apple can maintain its hit parade against the juggernaut of Samsung,” he added.
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