SAMSUNG accounted for one in four of all mobile phones shipped worldwide last year, as its shipments rose nearly 20% to 396.5 million, a report says.
Meanwhile Apple’s phone shipments grew by 46% to a record 135.8 million mobile phones worldwide in 2012, but Nokia’s fell by 20% from 417.1 million units in 2011 to 335.6 million.
Overall, total shipments grew by 2% annually to reach 1.6 billion units in 2012, according to Strategy Analytics.
Neil Shah, senior analyst at the research firm, said: “Ongoing macro- economic challenges in mature markets like North America and Western Europe, tighter operator upgrade policies, and shifting consumer tastes” were among the reasons for the modest global growth figure.
He added: “Fuelled by demand for its popular Galaxy models, Samsung was the star performer, shipping a record 396.5 million mobile phones worldwide and capturing 25% market share to solidify its first-place lead.
“However, Samsung’s total volumes for the year fell just short of the 400 million threshold.”
Meanwhile Strategy Analytics said global smartphone shipments grew by 43% annually to a record 700 million units in last year.
Global smartphone shipments for the full year reached a record 700.1 million units in 2012, from 490.5 million units in 2011, but there were signs that shipments of smartphones began to mature in developed regions such as North America and Western Europe.
The research came as Samsung reported a 76% jump in profits for the last three months of 2012, helped by sales of its Galaxy smartphones.
Net income rose to a record £4.2bn, up from 4.01bn won in the same period a year earlier, beating analysts’ expectations. The Korean firm said its mobile profits more than doubled over the same period.
Last year, Samsung became the world’s biggest smartphone maker, overtaking Apple, its main rival in the sector. This week Apple also reported quarterly results, showing flat profits, unchanged from a year earlier at £8.2bn, and record quarterly revenue of £35bn.
But it was not enough to overcome disappointment over sales of the company’s new iPhone 5, as analysts said the firm was in danger of becoming a victim of its own success.
The firm said late on Wednesday it had sold more iPhones (47.8 million) and iPads (22.9 million) in the final three months of last year than in any previous quarter, but investors had expected more.
Samsung now expects earnings to decline in the current quarter, because of seasonally low demand for consumer electronics post-Christmas.
Samsung was the star performer, shipping a record 396.5 million mobile phones worldwide