BY | December 19, 2012

By Abdul Vahid V

For the first time in 14 years, Nokia is expected to be displaced from the top position of the vendors that sold most number of cell phones, reveals an IHS iSuppli survey. Samsung would take hold of the coveted spot by selling 29 percent of cell phones in the year. Nokia’s share in 2012 in global mobile market would fall to 24 percent from the last year’s 30 percent, the survey said.

Samsung, meanwhile, could establish domination in both smartphone and feature phone segments. It is for the first time that the Korean tech firm is going to grab the first position in mobile sales on an annual basis, says the survey. “A dislodged Nokia will cause Samsung to rise to first place for the full year of 2012, up from the second rank in 2011, the first time the South Korean electronics titan will occupy the top on a yearly basis,” says iSuppli.

“The competitive reality of the cell phone market in 2012 was ‘live by the smartphone; die by the smartphone,’” says Wayne Lam, an analyst at IHS. “Smart phones represent the fastest-growing segment of the cell phone market—and will account for nearly half of all wireless handset shipments for all of 2012,” he adds.

Global Cell Phone Sales 2012
As per the iSuppli forecast, Nokia would follow Samsung in the second spot in mobile sales. The Finnish mobile vendor, regardless of a drop of 6 percent in sales, is in the second position ahead of Apple. The iPhone maker could sell 10 percent of handsets in 2012, which is three percent better than its 2011’s performance. In the fourth and fifth positions, ZTE and LG sneak in with 6 percent and 4 percent sales respectively.

In smartphone sales as well, Samsung has ruthless domination. The firm is to continue its supremacy with an eight percent better performance over its archrival Apple. Growing from its 20 percent market share in 2011, Samsung could make a penetration of 28 percent in market, says the survey. Apple would 20 percent with a change of only one percent from last year. Nokia, HTC and RIM have 5 percent presence. Both Nokia and RIM have fallen from big highs from last year.

Samsung Wins Where Nokia Fails
According to iSuppli, Samsung wins in areas where Nokia has started to fail for last several months. Apart from high quality smart phones, the Korean tech maker has largely expanded its mobile business to many budget and cheap handsets. The company’s “success has been built on its “fast follower” strategy for design and manufacturing,” notes iSuppli.

Every year, Samsung produces a huge variety of handsets. As of now, the company is active in market with many handsets. Besides the top end Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III, Samsung has just released budget phones like Galaxy S III Mini, Galaxy Axiom and Galaxy Grand for different markets. This is, of course, the major success secret of Samsung over Nokia.

The Finnish mobile firm, at the same time, mainly focuses on developing multiple devices for Windows platform. “Nokia is mired in transitioning its smartphone line to the Windows operating system, resulting in declining shipments for the company,” iSuppli observes. Indeed, sales decline of its Symbian-based devices is a huge upset for the company.

However, it currently produces only Windows phones. Its new row of Lumia series for both Windows Phone 8 and the upcoming Windows Phone 7.8 are the only options for the company to establish its presence in global mobile market. If Lumia series fails, the future of Nokia will be in a mess. Samsung has taken advantage and emerged as a giant in mobile business, at the same time.

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