IHS iSuppli: Samsung to become top cellphone manufacturer in 2012

Samsung2012 may not be over yet but it appears that the fat lady has sung her tune. According to IHS iSuppli, Samsung will displace Nokia to become the top mobile phone manufacturer for 2012. It will be the first time that the South Korean manufacturer will take the spot that Nokia has claimed as its won since 1998. Much of Samsung’s success can be attributed to its smartphone business.

“The competitive reality of the cellphone market in 2012 was ‘live by the smartphone; die by the smartphone,’” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS. “Smartphones represent the fastest-growing segment of the cellphone market—and will account for nearly half of all wireless handset shipments for all of 2012. Samsung’s successes and Nokia’s struggles in the cellphone market this year were determined entirely by the two companies’ divergent fortunes in the smartphone sector.”

The top five cellphone manufacturers in 2012 are as follows:

Rank Company 2011 2012
1 Samsung 24% 29%
2 Nokia 30% 24%
3 Apple 7% 10%
4 ZTE 6% 6%
5 LG 6% 4%
Source: IHS iSuppli December 2012

In the smartphone space, Samsung is expected to consolidate its lead over Apple thanks to its diversified smartphone lineup that covers everything from the entry-level space to the flagship market. The top five smartphone manufacturers are expected to be the following:

Rank Company 2011 2012
1 Samsung 20% 28%
2 Apple 19% 20%
3 Nokia 16% 5%
4 HTC 9% 5%
5 RIM 11% 5%
Source: IHS iSuppli December 2012

IHS iSuppli expects that smartphones will account for 56% of the mobile phone market in 2013. Whether the top five will remain as they are remains to be seen.

Read more: IHS iSuppli