updated 09:50 am EDT, Mon April 2, 2012
Canaccord sees Samsung regain lead in 2012
Samsung should retake the edge in the smartphone space as of the first quarter, Canaccord Genuity said in early estimates. Analyst T. Michael Walkley saw Samsung going back to 28.2 percent share on the back of 41 million smartphones. Apple would have its strongest winter ever, but at 32.6 million iPhones would have a more modest 22.4 percent.
Similar trends would continue throughout all of 2012, although Samsung's lead would come at the expense of other companies more than Apple. Nokia's Lumia 900 wouldn't be enough to stop a slide from 8.6 percent at the start of the year to 5.8 percent. RIM's BlackBerry would drop from 7.6 percent to 4.7 percent.
Most other Android supporters would either grow slightly or decline, such as HTC and Motorola. Huawei's push into high-end smartphones would make it the exception, as it would grow from 5.8 percent to 8.9 percent in the prediction.
Samsung's push wasn't having much of an effect in the US, Walkley noted. The company's $10 million Super Bowl ad for the Galaxy Note saw the 5.3-inch crossover creep into third place on AT&T, but the 3.5-inch iPhone 4S was still on top and Samsung's own, smaller Galaxy S II was still in second. Apple's iPhone 4S was still the leading phone on Sprint and Verizon, while the iPhone 4 was third at Sprint. Motorola's Droid RAZR/MAXX and Galaxy Nexus were in second and third at Verizon, and the Galaxy S II's Epic 4G Touch variant was in second at Sprint.
Some of Samsung's ability to hold Apple off may be predicated both on a timely launch of the Galaxy S III, which might not show until mid-year. It may also hinge on the timing of the next iPhone and its resulting reaction.