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Smartphone demand drives mobile phone market

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Worldwide mobile phone market grew one per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2012, as Samsung and Apple shipped almost half of the world's smartphones. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped 406.0 million units in the second quarter of 2012 compared to 401.8 million units in the same period of 2011.
Samsung and Apple have more than doubled their combined market share over the past two years, which has created more distance between the companies and the competition. "Samsung and Apple have quickly become the global smartphone heavyweights though both employ somewhat different approaches to the market," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "Samsung employs a 'shotgun' strategy wherein many models are created that cover a wide range of market segments. Apple, in contrast, offers a small number of high-profile models. While both companies have expanded their geographic presence in pursuit of market share, the two companies will inevitably come into greater conflict as both try to generate additional gains."
Market share gains will be harder to generate, however, if the worldwide smartphone market grows at rates similar to the 42.1 per cent year-on-year rate at which the market increased in the second quarter of 2012. This was the lowest growth rate since the fourth quarter of 2009. Vendors shipped 153.9 million smartphones compared to 108.3 million units in the second quarter of 2011. The 42.1 per cent year-on-year growth was one percentage point lower than IDC's forecast of 43.1 per cent for the quarter.
The spectre of further economic woes puts growth prospects for the mobile phone market at risk. "With half of 2012 behind us, vendors are looking ahead to 2013 and how key markets – particularly Europe and emerging markets – will play out," said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Phone Technology and Trends team. "Despite recent maneuvers to shore up several countries within the Eurozone, the effectiveness of these efforts remains to be seen. Meanwhile, emerging markets will continue to be strong contributors due to their sheer size and growth trajectory, but how much they can offset potential declines in other countries is unclear."
Nonetheless, IDC expects long-term mobile phone and smartphone shipment demand to grow steadily in 2012 and through the years ahead due to the central role mobile phones play in people's lives. "For many users, the mobile phone has become the essential communications link to others and to the world," noted Llamas.
Citeşte mai multe despre: IDC, Samsung, Apple

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