February 1, 2013
Apple Struts Its Stuff, Grabs Fourth Quarter Throne In 2012
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
In the midst of an over-inflated stock price fallout crisis, Apple still keeps pumping out numbers showing it is not just a player, but a dominant player in the smartphone industry.
With the latest statistics coming out from Strategy Analytics, Apple was the largest mobile phone vendor in the United States during the fourth quarter last year. Believe it or not, this was actually the first time Apple has ever accomplished this feat.
Apple saw 17.7 million mobile phone shipments during the fourth quarter last year, compared to Samsung with 16.8 million units. Although the Cupertino, California company took its foe in the final bout for the year, it was still shy 10 million units for the end of year tally.
With both Apple and Samsung making up 68.3 percent of the market share for the quarter, they showed what consumers were craving during the holiday season, for the most part.
The other story out of the new Strategy Analytics statistics is the overall mobile phone shipments for 2012 dropped 10.7 percent, possibly hinting at the thought growth could be finally leveling off, similar to Apple's stock price.
With the smartphone boom making its way to the consumer's hands like a viral video for the past decade, growth is sure to eventually slow down once essentially everyone, young and old, finally has gotten their own intelligent phone. Last year's total mobile phone shipments puts up the argument for that, with just 166.9 million units being shipped, compared to 186.8 million the year before.
Regardless of what future expectations for the smartphone industry may be, Apple is able to hold its head a little higher after today's outing by Strategy Analytics.
The same quarter in 2011, Apple was sitting at 25.4 percent of the market share in the U.S. for mobile phone shipments, with its iPhone 4S being the talk of the town at the time. Now, with the release of the iPhone 5, consumers have helped Apple gain that top spot and beat out the previous fourth quarter by just under 9 percent, or over 4 million smartphones.
Year-to-year, Apple has shown strong growth in the smartphone market, which could be a product of consumers just being more eager to get their hands on the iPhone 5, rather than the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 helped Apple jump over ten percent above its overall shipments for 2011, when compared to those in 2012. All this while, as previously stated, the entire market dropped 10 percent.
Essentially, all of the overall loss in mobile phone shipments from 2011 to 2012 comes from Strategy Analytics' "Others" category, which includes companies like HTC, Motorola, RIM, Nokia, Microsoft, etc. This category excludes the two big players, Apple and Samsung, and the mediocre player, LG. According to the numbers, this category dropped ten percent, taking most of the blame for the industry's lack of growth for the year.
Samsung has kept solid numbers since 2008, when it first took the crown for being the overall number one mobile vendor in the U.S. Year-to-year statistics show the company sold just 0.7 million more smartphones from 2011 to 2012, bringing its market share up to 31.8 percent, from 28 percent.
2013 has only just begun, and plenty of word is spreading around the rumor mill as to what companies are going to be producing this year. Only time will tell, though, if Samsung will remain king of the hill for the year, or if Apple may knock its rival company off the mound that it´s tightly grasped for so long.