Top smartphone makers in 2012

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IDC’s figures for smartphone shipments in 2012 have some interesting and surprising facts. Here are the top dogs for the year just ended:

1) Samsung – 215.8m
2) Apple -136.8m
3) Nokia – 35.1m
4) HTC – 32.6m
5) RIM – 32.5m

I find it surprising that with all the noise of about how terrible things are with Nokia and RIM in particular, they both still manage to comfortably stay in the top five list. That is no mean feat, especially when you consider that outside of the top five, the rest of the smartphone makers – ZTE, Sony, Huawei, Lenovo, Motorola, LG and the others – shipped only a combined 92.4m devices. That is less than what Nokia, HTC and RIM shipped together.

Here is the table from IDC:

Of course, there is no doubt that Nokia’s shipments have fallen drastically. I just find the 2012 results interesting. Here’s hoping that both Nokia and RIM can turn things around this year and continue to give us compelling options in the smartphone market.


  1. Well, coming from a leadership position just a few years back to ship less than a seventh of the number shipped by the present leaders, Samsung, is huge enough to merit the noise. Again, even if you choose to ignore other companies’ shipments, that figure by Nokia is far below the figure they attained in their peek period, so the noise is not unfounded. Again, when you consider that this figure for Nokia probably includes the Asha series that were market in countries like Nigeria as smartphones, you begin to appreciate the figure even further.

    This year should be a lot better for both Nokia and RIM for the strides made in Windows phone and the effort RIM had invested in their latest BB10 operating system, but the leadership position will most likely remain with the incumbent leaders.

  2. i agree with @Harry there.

    the volume being shipped by Nokia & RIM now is abysmally low, compared to that of their glorious years.

    if you are used to eating Pounded Yam with the ear of an elephant for extended periods, in the past, a whole chicken can no longer satisfy you.. particularly if all your neighbours are now consuming hippopotamuses!

  3. Lets give it to Samsung.

    A smart decision to go the Android route is placing them where they are today.

    Lets see how 2013 goes but am sure Samsung does not want to let go of its sales and Apple does not want to let go of its Profit, so Nokia and RIM have a lot of home work to do.

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