Samsung officially overtakes Nokia as top cell phone brand for 2012

by: Varun RajDecember 18, 2012


As you may have already expected if you follow tech trends, Samsung has passed Nokia (who is still chugging along) as the top cell phone manufacturer for 2012. However, what makes this extra significant is that it is the first time in 14 years that Samsung has been able to do this, thanks to their estimated 29% share of shipments by the end of 2012.

Nokia is estimated to drop down to 24% of the worldwide shipments, which is still pretty significant. But Samsung hasn’t just passed Nokia; they are at the top of all cell phone manufacturers, including Apple. While Samsung’s market share in 2011 exceeded Apple’s by only 1%, the gap widened in 2012 to 8% with Samsung still in the lead.


Being the top smartphone manufacturer is a big deal. Cut throat competition is rampant in the smartphone market. Also, with most people wanting to save money more than ever, they will often go for the cheapest phone. Samsung tends to be one of the lower priced high-quality smartphone manufacturers. They have a wide range of both budget smartphones for $100 and under with a contract, and higher end phones for those who want everything.

What would it take for Nokia to regain their position as the top cell phone brand? It’s not the phones that are necessarily the problem for Nokia, it’s what the phones run. Current Nokia smartphones (for the most part) run Windows Phone instead of the more popular Android. The biggest reason for the lower uptake of Windows Phone is the app and developer ecosystem. It is not as dense as the Android or iOS ecosystem, with fewer developers and lesser number of apps at consumer’s disposal.

Meanwhile, Samsung’s success could be partly attributed to its choice of ecosystem. It tapped both the developer and the app ecosystem, not to mention the open source market. While Apple’s success was its first mover advantage in this domain, it will be interesting to see both Apple’s and Samsung’s next moves. Whatever it may be, it will be a win-win and sheer delights to the customers who are all set to be wooed by new range of swanky smartphones planned to be launched in 2013.

Learning From The Past

Nokia would do well to take a lesson from a company that dug its own grave: RIM. Nokia might not have lost its position if it opened up its ecosystem and perhaps adopted Android. It is still not too late; Windows is starting to catch up, with increased developer momentum and number of apps. However, there are miles to go before it starts to regain market share.

For now, Samsung is the king. While it will have to struggle hard to maintain its top spot, with Android backing, we think it can hang on to its position in coming years.

What do you guys think? Tell us.

  • AndroidBrian

    What’s Nokia?

    • HellG

      A company that make over hyper phones with a crap OS made by an evil company called Microshit

      • john

        You forgot to mention they are tougher than bricks and nearly as heavy.

        • HellG

          its ok to be tough, in a matter of fact any device with non-removable battery will feel as premium and as tough (HOX,Razr Maxx for example) but the weight, oh damn that’s retarded, and some people says that the weight gives it a premium feel…..lolwut!

  • Ivan Budiutama

    Samsung has to send a complimentary presents to Elop, Thanks to him, Nokia is going down hill by exclusivity Windows OS. In fact, let’s say if 10,000 Lumia was separated into 7,000 Lumia + 500 Symbian + 500 Meego + 500 Asha + 500 Android. See which one sold more and focus on that platform, Nokia will have a greater chance to success probably the Symbian or probably the Android but obviously not Lumia lines. In some case, with Nokia sturdy build quality with Andorid OS (probably with their own interesting unqiue UI), I (as an Android fans) would like to get one myself. In the past they have the resource, but now, well, good luck on that.

  • raindrop

    I love nokia.
    But I hate microsoft. They limit nokia potential with their limited OS.

  • Guest

    love nokia.
    But I hate microsoft.

  • i love nokia.
    But I hate nokia
    i m waiting nokia android mobiles