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Samsung Surpasses Nokia as World's Largest Cell Phone Co.

By - Source: IHS | B 21 comments

Samsung has become the world's largest cell phone maker in Q1 2012, overtaking Nokia for the first time.

Apple, however, remained the largest smartphone manufacturer. Market research firm IHS estimates that Samsung shipped about 92 million phones in the first quarter, while Nokia shipped only 83 million units. Shipments for both companies declined sequentially from Q4 2011, but Samsung had a much softer landing with a decrease of 13 percent than Nokia, which was hit with a 27 percent decline.

Apple won the quarter for smartphones with 35 million units for the quarter, IHS said. Samsung was a close second with 32 million phones, followed by Nokia with 12 million and RIM with 11 million units. Apple's shipments fell just 5 percent from Q4, while Samsung dropped 11 percent, Nokia 39 percent and RIM 21 percent.

“With cellphones now accounting for more than 40 percent of Samsung’s overall revenue, it’s clear that the company’s continued investments in smartphone hardware and software R&D are paying off,” said Wayne Lam, a senior analyst at IHS. “The company is not only cashing in on the market’s shift to smartphones, but is also succeeding in other cellphone product categories, allowing it to capture the overall market lead. What makes Samsung’s performance even more impressive is that the company’s latest Galaxy S III handset has yet to be launched, with shipments set to start in May. This indicates Samsung is likely to make further progress in market share in 2012.”

Samsung reported Q1 revenues of $40.0 billion as well as a net profit of $4.5 billion, up 82 percent from Q1 2011. The company said that its mobile sales jumped by 86 percent to $16.7 billion from the year-ago quarter.

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  • -2 Hide
    alvinyang , April 30, 2012 10:23 AM
    I hope this news gets to the execs at Nokia and make them switch to the Android OS. We need their Xenon Flash, Carl Zeiss Optics power as an Android Phone.
  • 8 Hide
    joytech22 , April 30, 2012 10:50 AM
    Good for them! :D 
    Well they have done unbelievably well, I mean I walk around every single day and see some kind of Samsung phone but mostly they are the SGS 2.

    I have a SGN but I never see anyone with that. :( 
    (forever alone)
  • 1 Hide
    el33t , April 30, 2012 11:22 AM
    **** APPLAUSE ****

    Rightly deserved! My sincere wishes for Samsung for their future endeavors and my appreciation for them for being such an amazing smartphone makers.
  • -2 Hide
    Tomtompiper , April 30, 2012 11:29 AM
    Your figures are at odds with GSMarena they show Samsung selling 45 million smartphones
    As this is their area off expertise I will side with them until evidence suggests otherwise.
  • 3 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , April 30, 2012 11:30 AM
    As much as I used to like Nokia (back in the Symbian times), Samsung totally deserves this. Congratulations!
  • 6 Hide
    kingius , April 30, 2012 11:49 AM
    Bah, who cares really? All this 'my phone is so good and better than your phone' is such playground stuff. It's time for the tech industry to grow up a bit now all the fuss about smart phones has died down.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 30, 2012 12:37 PM
    hahahahah cool for them ???
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , April 30, 2012 12:38 PM
    this is realy getting on my nerves blah blah blah
  • 4 Hide
    darkchazz , April 30, 2012 1:05 PM
    Congrats sammy!
    Till this day the GSII still does unbelievably well compared to newly released phones..

    I'm waiting for a new tablet from samsung with a new A15 chip, hopefully won't take long :) 
  • 3 Hide
    house70 , April 30, 2012 1:27 PM
    They make great hardware, congrats.
  • 6 Hide
    freggo , April 30, 2012 3:23 PM
    "Apple, however, remained the largest smartphone manufacturer."

    Manufacturer ???
    Exactly where are the Apple plants. How many people does Apple employ in MANUFACTURING ?

    I am getting so tired of marketing companies (Apple, Nike etc.) being called Manufactures. Same B.S. as the 'production' of oil giving the false impression we can simple 'produce' more at will.
  • 4 Hide
    cookoy , April 30, 2012 3:42 PM
    My last 2 phones were a nokia and a samsung. Hardware wise i like the nokia better but the samsung android is easier to use.
  • 3 Hide
    bigdog44 , April 30, 2012 3:55 PM
    alvinyangI hope this news gets to the execs at Nokia and make them switch to the Android OS. We need their Xenon Flash, Carl Zeiss Optics power as an Android Phone.

    alvinyangI hope this news gets to the execs at Nokia and make them switch to the Android OS. We need their Xenon Flash, Carl Zeiss Optics power as an Android Phone.


    I don't see it happening with MS investment in Nokia with WP.
  • 0 Hide
    jacobdrj , April 30, 2012 4:49 PM
    While Samsung's electronics are very good (I have their Refrigerators, TVs, and more) and their TOP TIER phones are very very good, their value phones are complete trash:

    Their feature phones, like the Samsung Restore, have very buggy software and firmware (such as spontaneously rebooting, erasing text messages while in the middle of writing them, and more), and their low end android phones, like the Samsung Intercept, are just as buggy or worse (ringtone continuing after the caller has hung up, constant freezing, glitches with the slide-out keyboard, general sluggishness).

    Very very disappointed.

    My non-flagship phone brand of choice is LG: Their feature phones (like the LG Remarq) are very durable, robust, and the software is well laid out... Their low end android phones are quite functional, and are rock solid, in hardware and software (like the LG Optimus V). Their mid-tier phones (like the LG Esteem) have proven to be beautiful and speedy. LG phones are not without their faults: The feature phones don't store many text messages, the built in cameras are marginal at best, but I'll take stability and durability over top tier secondary features, particularly in the value-to-midrange tier.
  • 5 Hide
    house70 , April 30, 2012 4:54 PM
    freggo"Apple, however, remained the largest smartphone manufacturer."Manufacturer ???Exactly where are the Apple plants. How many people does Apple employ in MANUFACTURING ?I am getting so tired of marketing companies (Apple, Nike etc.) being called Manufactures. Same B.S. as the 'production' of oil giving the false impression we can simple 'produce' more at will.

    And, of course, that phrase had to be the very first phrase of the article. Not Samsung, but about Apple. Obvious attempt to start a flame war.
  • 0 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , April 30, 2012 10:07 PM
    nice1 Elop. told'ya.
  • -2 Hide
    dreadlokz , May 1, 2012 12:21 AM
    Nokia and the good old days! They better catch up!
  • -2 Hide
    ericburnby , May 1, 2012 2:15 AM
    freggo"Apple, however, remained the largest smartphone manufacturer."Manufacturer ???Exactly where are the Apple plants. How many people does Apple employ in MANUFACTURING ?I am getting so tired of marketing companies (Apple, Nike etc.) being called Manufactures. Same B.S. as the 'production' of oil giving the false impression we can simple 'produce' more at will.

    And I'm getting tired of idiots with no idea how products are made claiming that someone like Apple is just a marketing company. Is Nvidia a marketing company? They don't make their GPU's and have to rely on a foundry to do it for them, so I guess they fit your description.
  • 0 Hide
    Niva , May 1, 2012 2:59 AM
    I contributed to this rise of Samsung stock, just bought a galaxy nexus and for the first time since I bought my Nokia N95 so many years ago I'm actually happy with a phone.
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , May 1, 2012 8:31 PM
    ericburnbyAnd I'm getting tired of idiots with no idea how products are made claiming that someone like Apple is just a marketing company. Is Nvidia a marketing company? They don't make their GPU's and have to rely on a foundry to do it for them, so I guess they fit your description.


    Nvidia designs their GPUs completely in-house. Yes, Apple isn't JUST a marketing company, but that really is their big thing. Apple does design some things such as their cases and chassis and I'm not sure, but they might at least play a part in designing their mobile CPUs for their iOS devices. They might play a part in designing their motherboards (I don't think they so, but I don't confirm that they do or don't).

    Intel designs and manufactures the chipsets, CPUs, and some of the graphics, Nvidia designs some of the graphics, Samsung designs and manufactures some of the RAM, etc. Apple might not just be a marketing company, but they still don't manufacture like the article states that they do.
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