Whatever the consequences of its no-holds-barred legal battle against Apple, Samsung does have one thing going for it: sales of the company’s mobile devices are apparently strong and outpacing those of Apple and Nokia.
That data comes from research firm Gartner, which estimates Samsung’s share of the worldwide mobile device market at 21.6 percent, up from 16.3 percent a year ago. That placed the Korean manufacturer ahead of Nokia at 19.9 percent (down from 22.8 percent a year ago) and Apple at 6.9 percent (up from 4.6 percent a year ago).
“Samsung and Apple continued to dominate the smartphone market, together taking about half the market share, and widening the gap to other manufacturers,” Anshul Gupta, an analyst at Gartner, wrote in an Aug. 14 statement accompanying the data. “In the race to be top smartphone manufacturer in 2012, Samsung has consistently increased its lead over Apple, and its open OS market share increased to one-and-a-half times that of Apple in the second quarter of 2012.”
Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones were responsible for a little more than half of the manufacturer’s overall mobile-device sales. In its research note, Gartner cited the new Galaxy S3 as a “particularly strong” factor: “The Galaxy S3 was the best-selling Android product in the quarter and could have been higher but for product shortages.”
In its current courtroom battle, Apple is claiming that Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphones copied multiple aspects of the iPhone’s design. According to Reuters, documents presented in the course of that trial suggest that Samsung has sold more than 87 million devices between 2010 and 2012.
Apple wants billions of dollars in damages; but however the case turns out, the battle on the store shelves will doubtlessly continue to rage. Apple is reportedly on the verge of unveiling its next-generation iPhone, which will go toe-to-toe against Samsung’s Galaxy franchise during the holiday season.
According to Gartner, Google Android now owns 64.1 percent of the mobile OS market, up from 43.4 percent a year ago. Coming in second is Apple’s iOS with 18.8 percent, up only a slight tick from 18.2 percent in the second quarter of 2011. Despite being phased out by Nokia, Symbian took third place with 5.9 percent—albeit having plunged from 22.1 percent last year. Research In Motion also saw a healthy decline, tumbling from 11.7 percent to 5.2 percent over the past 12 months.
Microsoft, which is trying to position its Windows Phone platform as a number-three contender behind Android and iOS, has seen its market-share over the past year increase from 1.6 percent to 2.7 percent. That places it roughly level in Gartner’s estimation with Bada, a proprietary mobile OS developed by Samsung.