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 The latest set of market figures show Samsung knocking Nokia off the top of the mobile phone charts, and setting a sizeable lead over Apple in smartphones. 


Big Bang Sales Theory

Having just looked back at 2012 in mobile, the final numbers for the year are starting to appear. Samsung's marketing model of a device for everyone (with size variants of most of its models now on the shelves including the Galaxy S3 mini) has paid off, as it takes a commanding lead in the latest batch of phone market figures from statistics producer, iSuppli

Samsung will claim 29% of worldwide total cellphone shipments this year, up from 24% in 2011. With Nokia dropping down from 30% to 24% (having been No. 1 for over a decade), propped up by good sales of its Asha range around the world. However, it will need Windows Phone 8 sales to pick up to recover in 2013. 

Apple, which only makes smartphones, makes it to No. 3 with 10% of overall phone sales, with ZTE and LG making up the rest of the top five. Apple's tight supply chain and range of only three models in production means it should have vastly superior margins over most rivals. 

Smartphone Battle


Learning Opportunities

On the smartphone-only front, Samsung (28%) is pulling ahead of Apple (20%) at a rate of knots, having been deadlocked in a tight race back in 2011. Between them, they take up almost 50% of the smartphone market, leaving the rest scrabbling for the scraps behind them with single-digit market share.

These preliminary figures should include Apple's two million sales from last week's China launch, but may change depending on the success of that event and Apple's roll out to more international markets in December.

Nokia and RIM (showing off BlackBerry 10 next January) will be looking to bounce back in 2013 as their double-digit 2011 market shares dropped to single-digits this time around. With more buyers likely to upgrade from feature phones to smartphones next year, smartphone sales will take up more of the overall market.