It's widely known that RIM, HTC, and Nokia are in trouble in U.S. cell phone markets. As Samsung consolidates its power over the Android smartphone market, it isn't leaving much room for another Apple competitor. It's sometimes said that even though this is the case, other handset manufacturers have a good chance at propping up their profits by focusing on emerging cell phone markets.
Research firm Canalys today released its worldwide country-level smartphone shipment data for the third quarter of 2012, and the numbers still don't look good for anyone other than Samsung, Apple, and Sony.
Their shipment data shows that the worldwide smartphone market reached 173.7 million units in Q3 2012 - 44% higher than Q3 2011. For the third consecutive quarter, Samsung led the global market by shipping 55.5 million smartphones, or 32% of all smartphone shipments. Apple came next with 26.9 million (15.5%), and Sony rounded out the top 3 with 8.8 million (5.1%).
HTC and RIM come next on the list, and they aren't far behind Sony, with 8.4 million (4.8%) and 7.3 million (4.2%), respectively. However, these numbers are a huge decrease for these companies from their 2011 shipment numbers. HTC shipped 36% more smartphones in Q3 2011, and RIM shipped 38% more. Their shares of shipment numbers have similarly dropped, over 5% in HTC's case and almost that much for RIM.
Nokia has been pushed off the top 5 and is now included with the "others" category, which collectively ships 38.5% of the world's smartphones. Nokia shipped fewer units in Q3 2012 in anticipation of the launch of Windows Phone 8. RIM is currently gearing up for BlackBerry 10, which it hopes will revitalize its business, but which analysts are predicting might be DOA.
Canalys emphasized that these numbers are heavily skewed by China, where Samsung has a large lead in the smartphone market.
"When considering actual use of smart phones, however, the markets differ dramatically again, determined by network availability, speed, pricing and localization," said Chris Jones, Canalys co-founder and principal analyst. "For example, data from the Canalys App Interrogator tool shows that the US market still leads in terms of app downloads and revenue. For example, the US made up 45% of all Apple iPhone app downloads in September, compared with just 11% in China."