In a preliminary forecast that many will not be surprised with, market research analysts IHS iSuppli expects Samsung to be the top dog for 2012 for both smartphones and feature phones. THS iSuppli forecasts that phones made by the Korean giants will will make up 29% of all shipments in the world this year, up a massive 5% from 2011. In addition, it is predicted that almost one out of every three smartphones sold this year will be a Samsung.
On the other hand, fallen giants Nokia will lose its no.1 status for the first time in 14 years. The Finnish company has been able to hold on to its billing as the world’s top selling mobile phone brand that long due to its popular feature phones, as it slowly makes its mark on the smartphone market.
According to the researchers, Samsung’s success can be mainly attributed to its “fast follower” strategy, where the company makes many, many new models each year to cater for virtually every segment of the market. 2011’s Galaxy Note, a 5.5-inch phone that set the tone for a new range of smartphones, is one example of the Korean company’s success with the strategy, and 2012’s Galaxy Note II is set to be another success story.
Also, American company Apple will still remain in third place, as its iPhone range continue to retain its massive popularity. IHS iSuppli expects that 20% of all smartphones sold in 2012 will be an iPhone, and they will make up 10% of all phone sales this year. This rise is in line with the dramatic drops in sales for both HTC and RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones, who are set to post 4% and 6% drops respectively in sales compared to last year.
Finally, the researchers predict that next year, smartphone sales will tip that of other phone segments, which could spell trouble for Nokia. However, this also represent a great opportunity for struggling companies like RIM and HTC to make their marks and claw some market share off Samsung and Apple.