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February 6, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Apple, Samsung drive 61 percent smartphone surge

Smartphone sales grew 61 percent to 491.4 million units in 2011, according to a new report from IDC.

It was a huge year for phones but sales were slower than in 2010, which saw a 76 percent gain in smartphone sales.

Samsung and Apple are neck and neck for the leading market share, after a phenomenal year for Samsung.

Samsung’s unit sales grew 310 percent to 94 million phones, while Apple’s sales grew 96 percent to 93.2 million phones. That left Samsung with a 19.1 percent market share and Apple with 19 percent, according to IDC’s report.

Nokia posted a 23 percent decline, to 77.3 million units. The report talks about the potential of the new Windows phones, though their arrival in the fourth quarter wasn’t soon enough to help Nokia, which saw a 30.6 percent decline during the quarter.

HTC was up 17 percent during the fourth quarter and 100 percent through 2011.

One out of three phones shipped was a smartphone at the end of the year, according to IDC, which said the broader variety of phones available — particularly with Google’s Android software — is helping to expand the market.

“So-called ‘hero’ devices, such as Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus and Apple’s iPhone 4S, garner the bulk of the attention heaped on the device type,” IDC analyst Kevin Restivo said in the release. “But a growing number of sub-$250 device offerings, based on the Android operating system, have allowed Google’s hardware partners to grow smartphone volumes and expand the market concurrently.”

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An interactive graphic from IDC:

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Chart: Top Five Worldwide Smartphone Vendors, 4Q 2011, Five Quarter Market Share Changes (Units)Description: Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, February 6 2012Note: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker provides smart phone and feature phone market data in 54 countries by vendor, device type, air interface, operating systems and platforms, and generation. Over 20 additional technical segmentations are provided. The data is provided four times a year and includes historical and forecast trend analysis. For more information, or to subscribe to the research, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 1-650-350-6423 or For more information about this tracker go to: IDC, Mobile Phone Tracker, Smartphone, Smartphone Vendors, Samsung, Ap …Author: IDCcharts powered by iCharts



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