Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. in the first quarter overtook Nokia Corp. to become the world’s largest cellphone brand for the first time. However, Samsung remained in second place in the smartphone segment of the cellphone market, behind Apple Inc.
The South Korean electronics giant shipped 92 million cellphones worldwide in the first quarter, compared to 83 million for longtime market leader Nokia.While Samsung’s shipments declined by 13 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, Nokia’s dropped by 27 percent, as presented in Table 1. This allowed Samsung to rise one position to take first place.
In the smartphone segment of the cellphone market, Apple shipped 35 million units in the first quarter, as presented in Table 2. This compares to 32 million for Samsung. Apple remained in the same position in smartphones that it captured in the fourth quarter of 2011—at No. 1—while Samsung held on to second place.
Apple’s smartphone shipments declined 5 percent, compared to 11 percent for Samsung. Sequential declines in the shipments of smartphones as well as cellphones reflect normal seasonal patterns in which sales decrease following the peak holiday period in the fourth quarter.