In the first quarter of 2013, worldwide mobile phone sales totaled nearly 426 million units, up about 0.7% compared with the first quarter of 2012. Smartphone sales comprised nearly half the total, 210 million units, up 42.9% year-over-year.
Among mobile phone makers, Samsung Electronics claimed 23.6% of the global market, with sales of 100.66 million units in the first quarter. Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) was second with sales of 63.22 million units for a market share of 14.8%. The difference is that Samsung's share grew from 21.1% in the first quarter of 2012 and Nokia's share fell from 19.7% a year ago.
According to Gartner Inc. (NYSE: IT), which compiled the data, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) sold 38.33 million units in the first quarter of this year, all of which are classified as smartphones. In the first quarter of 2012, Apple sold 33.12 million units.
Because total smartphone shipments grew from 147.02 million a year ago to more than 210 million this year, Apple's share of the global market for smartphones fell from 22.5% to 18.2%. Samsung's share of the smartphone market grew from 27.6% a year ago to 30.8% this year.
By operating system platform, Android from Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) grabbed a whopping 74.4% of sales, up from 56.9% a year ago. Apple's iOS platform lost share, dropping from 22.5% a year ago to 18.2% this year. Amazingly, Android-based phones now outsell iPhones by four to one.
Gartner's principal research analyst puts it squarely:
Apple is faced with the challenge of being increasingly dependent on the replacement market as its addressable market is capped. The next two quarters will also be challenging, as there are no new products are expected to be coming before the third quarter of 2013.
iPhone fans are legendary for their commitment to Apple. Some 70% of new iPhone sales are replacements for older model iPhones. Apple, though, is stuck with trying to grow while its share of the market slips. The company can innovate its way out of this, with another game-changing product like the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. There is little sign, though, that such a product is on the horizon.
Apple's shares are down 1.7% this morning at $436.36 in a 52-week range of $385.10 to $705.07.
Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Consumer Electronics, Telecom & Wireless Tagged: AAPL, featured, GOOG, IT, NOK