January 25, 2013, 12:59 AM — Samsung led both the smartphone and overall handsets market in the fourth quarter, though analysts' estimates of shipments and market share varied.
The South Korean company shipped 106 million handsets in the fourth quarter of which 60 million were smartphones, ABI Research said Thursday. Samsung had a 31% share of smartphone shipments in comparison to Apple's 24.5% share, the research firm said.
Apple shipped 47.8 million iPhones in the quarter, but its hyper-growth has ended, and market share is expected to peak at 22% in 2013, ABI said. "Unless Apple is willing to trade iPhone margins for low cost iPhone shipments, Apple's handset market share will become dependent on customer loyalty," it said. Apple is rumored to be planning low-end versions of the iPhone.
Nokia shipped 86.3 million handsets and 6.6 million smartphones in the fourth quarter, while RIM's shipments of smartphones declined to 6.9 million. Chinese vendor ZTE shipped 20.7 million handsets and 11.2 million smartphones in the quarter, ABI said.
The share of smartphones in total mobile phones shipments was the highest in the quarter, according to research firm IDC. About 219 million smartphones were shipped in the quarter, accounting for 45% of all mobile phone shipments, it said.