updated 09:31 am EDT, Fri October 26, 2012
RIM replaces Nokia in top 5 for global sales
Third-quarter figures from IDC suggest that Samsung and Apple account for almost half of smartphones shipped. While HTC and ZTE continue to appear in the top five smartphone vendors worldwide, Nokia has dropped from the rankings and been replaced by Research in Motion.
Samsung maintained its market leadership, selling more than double the total volume of its nearest competitor, at 31.3 percent compared to Apple's 15 percent. Though the number of sales are respectable, Apple's 26.9 million shipments for this quarter still falls behind the 28.1 million sold by Samsung in Q3 last year.
Nokia's fall from the top five list is a first for the company since the IDC's Mobile Phone Tracker started in 2004. Senior research analyst for IDC, Kevin Restivo, claimed "The company's transition away from Symbian-powered smartphones to ones shipped with Windows Phone has left ample opportunity for rivals to steal share away from Nokia over the past 18 months." Despite the drop, he added that there is still "room for multiple vendors and operating systems to flourish, including Nokia."
RIM appears to have made it into the top 5 more from others mistakes rather than its own ability. Shipment volumes have flattened, however it managed to post the second-highest year-on-year decline of any leading vendor at 34.7 percent, behind HTC at 42.5 percent. Whether it can maintain its position in the list is debatable, as its BB10 lines will not be out until early next year, and the new swathe of Windows Phone handsets will possibly move people away from Blackberry.
Globally, 179.7 million smartphones were sold in Q3, up from the 123.7 million sold in the same quarter last year. Sales of mobile phones in general have also risen, though the 444.5 million sales for Q3 are only 10 million higher year-on-year.