Samsung Knocks Nokia Out Of The Top Spot It Held For 14 Years

By Jimmie Geddes | Dec 18, 2012 08:57 PM EST

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ihs isuppli 2012 Top 5 Cellphone OEMs (Credit: isuppli)
IHS iSuppli 2012 Top 5 Cellphone OEMs (Credit: isuppli)

When basic cellphones were all the rage, Nokia was the king of the castle. Nokia enjoyed 14 long years of being the #1 cellphone handset OEM. Nokia is still selling a lot of cellphones but as more and more people are buying smartphones Nokia has been relegated to being the #2 cellphone handset OEM this year. Nokia can thank Samsung for ending its unprecedented long streak.

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IHS iSuppli is forecasting that last year's runner up Samsung has knocked Nokia out of the top spot with 29% market share compared to Nokia's 24%. Apple has taken the #3 spot with 10% market share, followed by ZTE with 6%, and LG with 4%.

It's no secret why Samsung is finally able to knock Nokia out of the top spot after all these years. It's all about smartphones. Smartphones accounted for almost half of all cellphones shipped in 2012. Samsung has set itself up in a great position by putting a lot of resources and money behind its golden egg, Android.

In Q3 of 2012, Android had 75% of the worldwide smartphone OS market share. Samsung is constantly launching new Android smartphones from the high-end to the low-end. Samsung has also long been committed to Microsoft in the PC and smartphone businesses and sells smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Phone OS, and also sells smartphones running its very own Bada smartphone OS. The handset manufacturer also sells millions of basic cellphones per year.

It's almost certain Samsung will retain the #1 position through 2013 when it is expected to launch some very high profile devices like the Samsung Galaxy S4 (the follow up to the hugely successful Samsung Galaxy S3) and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (another follow up to its wildly successful Galaxy Note 2).



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