Samsung owned the largest marketshare of smartphone producers in the first quarter with a 30.6% slice of the pie. Combined with Apple's 24.1% share, the two rivals control more than half of the world-wide smartphone market. Lee Sei-Cheol of Meritz Securities says, "The smartphone market has almost only two players, Samsung and Apple." Nokia, which had the largest marketshare in the 2011 first quarter, saw it's ownership of the global smartphone market drop from 23.5% to 8.2%.
allowed Samsung to take the top spot for the first time ever. Alex Spektor, associate director at Strategy Analytics said, "Five years after it captured the number-two spot from , Samsung has finally become the world’s largest handset vendor in volume terms." Apple, with its lack of featurephones, finished third in total handset marketshare with a 9.5% reading.
According to Strategy Analytics, year over year growth in smartphone shipments dropped from 86% in the first quarter of 2011 to the 41.1% growth recorded in the opening quarter of 2012. Looking at the raw numbers, 145.3 million smartphones were shipped in the first three months of 2012 compared to the prior year's 103 million. Total handset shipments globally were 368 million, ahead of the 356.4 million handsets sold in Q1 of 2011. Growth in handset sales slumped to 3.3% during this year's opening quarter from 19.4% growth last year.