Android dominates smartphones in Q3 2012, Samsung widens its sales lead

Android dominates smartphones in Q3 2012, Samsung widens its sales lead
Android continues expanding its dominance of the smartphone market, Samsung keeps on increasing its lead as the biggest smartphone maker and Nokia slips catastrophically in Q3 2012. That is a quick summary of what happened in the third quarter of 2012, according to the latest numbers by Gartner.

The analytics company concludes that while overall phone sales dropped slightly, smartphone sales are growing rapidly rising by 46.9% in Q3 2012.

Samsung cemented its position as the most prolific phone manufacturer selling nearly 98 million devices in the quarter.

But the biggest news seems the rise of Android. Google’s operating system powered 72.4% of the smartphones sold in the third trimester of the year. Apple was a very distant second with 13.9%, but it’s clear that except for the United States, Android is outgrowing iOS by a huge margin.

Nokia on the other hand is the biggest loser. We have earlier heard estimates that the company have catastrophically collapsed to become the 10th biggest phone maker, but Gartner’s numbers put it slightly higher, at number 7. Still, the company has not released smartphone sales figures so we cannot see what is the exact difference in its calculations. The new Lumias should help Nokia at least stop that slide, but no earlier than 2013 Gartner expects to see actual improvement.

Expectations for the Holiday quarter are for Apple to traditionally register one of its strongest periods, but Android as well will continue its strong growth. And interestingly, Samsung's bada platform continued outselling Windows Phone and Symbian.

source: Gartner



1. tedkord

Posts: 17408; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Does this surprise anyone?

4. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I'm not really thoroughly convinced that these are accurate results. Results can be and are often skewed. It's not hard to dominate when you can have Android on so many devices including the cheap ones.

8. MeoCao unregistered

Sure, but we should remember top Android phones are now way better than last year while iPhone remains essentially the same. Andoid ruled even when there were issues like lag or weak ecosystem, so is there any doubt that it will increase the lead after huge improvement while competition stays the same?

43. Nadr1212

Posts: 741; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

Of course and of course

9. someones4

Posts: 628; Member since: Sep 16, 2012

Is that because Apple wasn't on top? Don't cry, the truth hurts after all

10. Mr.Mr.Upgrade

Posts: 474; Member since: Aug 30, 2011

Dude get off apple nuts

12. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Why are iPhone fans always so insecure that they have to justify their lack of market adoption with the age old "Android is cheaper" statement. So what? Nobody's denying this. You're not really pointing out anything new. Can't you just live with the fact that the iPhone is and always will be more expensive than the average Android device, and quit whining about it when the stats will inevitably show that what is cheaper will sell more? This is getting really old.

18. tedkord

Posts: 17408; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Its old and mostly irrelevant. The Galaxy S3 sold over 30 million units in its first months. The Note sold well. These are not cheap phones. The RAZR Maxx sold millions. Also, not cheap. Android is wining because it offers choices and freedom along with power and flexibility. That combination will always win over a one size fits all philosophy.


Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

What about the cheap 3GS and the iP4™

32. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Those are cheap, but nonetheless Apple consistently ranks as having the most expensive phones on average.

13. tedkord

Posts: 17408; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I know. The only numbers you ever believe are numbers that come from Apple.

28. Jonathan41

Posts: 532; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

Why do you even come on Phone Arena? All you do is hate on every article thats not praising your beloved iPhone. Phone Arena is a site for phone enthusiast. Your not a smartphone enthusiast at all. Your an iPhone enthusiast. Go visit an iPhone site or if you must stay on PA just chill with the hate.

31. jacko1977

Posts: 428; Member since: Feb 11, 2012

just like apple pulls numbers out of the air to make themselves look better

36. Aeires unregistered

So tell me, how do you pronounce your name backwards?

37. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Almost spit coffee laughing.... :-D

40. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

Mxy.. that is the most Foxx News answer I've ever heard in a forum.

42. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Don't lose heart ... these figures will be skewed more and more against AAPLE as people start waking up to realities :)

2. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

It would be nice to see the breakdown of each company by smartphones vs featurephones instead of total mobile device sales, but these charts never do. Oh well. I'm wondering what percentage of Nokia's 82,300,600 are Windows devices.

3. AppleConspiracy

Posts: 637; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

You can conclude that right from the first chart, since Nokia is almost a synonym for WP devices in terms of sale. So definitely below 1.5 percent!

7. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Well, Nokia would like to believe it's a synonym for WP at any rate, but their WP sales history has been downright atrocious given the amount of attention they've gotten for their Lumia series. HTC and Samsung have been hot on their tail despite treating WP7 as a forgotten son compared to Android. WP8 should change this though.

26. AppleConspiracy

Posts: 637; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

If I recall correctly, reports in WP devices sales earlier this year told that Lumias make for practically all of the WP distribution system.

30. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Reports varied anywhere between 30% and 60% of the total WP market, although 50% seems familiar for some reason (I think it may have been Nokia 50%, HTC 30%, Samsung 20%, but don't quote me).

38. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Symbian is still selling as well, so Nokia has a little from them. I am a Windows Phone fan, but also a realist. Nokia needs huge sales jumps now that WP 8 is at least in the ball park of features with Android and iOS. It doesn't need to be Samsung Android numbers, just closer to 10% in Q4 of this year and Q1 of next year. That is a huge task and would be nothing short of amazing if they got there. I can take a little comfort from the fact that outside of Android, only WP grew in sales % from last year. The fact that it is less then 3% world wide sales (about 5% in US, I think) is still painful. Android's continued improvement in sales goes right along with their improvement in performance. ICS/Jellybean is so much better then Gingerbread, which in itself was a huge improvement. Sometimes you have to take a step back and just give respect. Amazing results.

41. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Yeah, 10% by the end of Q4 would be pretty amazing, but I don't think Nokia, HTC, and Samsung could even produce that number of WP smartphones even if there was that much demand for them. An increase to 5% would be fantastic. I could imagine WP possibly being at 10% by Q4 2013 perhaps, but they have a very tough hill to climb, and Microsoft is pretty much the only company in the world right now equipped to make it (what with their billions of dollars and all.)

5. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Samsung keeps on going up while apple keeps on falling down

6. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Does it matter? Apple's goal has never been market-share dominance. The iPhone 5 continues to sell out, that should be good enough for them. The iOS-Android market is looking more like the Mac-PC market with every passing quarter.

11. tedkord

Posts: 17408; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I seem to recall someone predicting exactly that would happen about 2 years ago. Now who was it...?

15. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Probably any industry analyst you'll ever talk to, any informed observer, and any Android fanboy who wanted to see it happen whether it was feasible or not. Is that the person you're thinking of?

16. MeoCao unregistered

Apple are happy to return to its old role? I don't think so. We know that rulers rather die than relinquish power, just ask people like Gaddaffi. This explain while Apple try to use any means to stop its rivals.

17. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Are you seriously comparing Apple to Gaddaffi (who by the way is dead so I can't ask him without the help of an Ouija board)? Give me a break. Apple's mission is quality over quantity. Honestly, people who compare companies who are a little litigation-happy to dictators who rule through oppression, fear and murder really need to put things in perspective.

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