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iPhone 5 is expected to take the top spot in Q4

Research firm Strategy Analytics has announced its smartphone market share numbers for Q3 2012. The numbers show that Samsung Galaxy S III overtook the Apple iPhone 4S to become the world's best selling smartphone for Q3.

Samsung shipped 18 million Galaxy S III smartphones during Q3 of 2012. The quantity of units shipped gave Samsung's smart phone 11% of the smartphone market globally. Strategy Analytics attributes the Galaxy S III's large touchscreen and extensive distribution around the world along with generous operator subsidies as the main reasons for the smartphones success.

Apple shipped 16.2 million iPhone 4S smartphones, giving it second place in the global smartphone market. Much of the reason that the iPhone slipped from the top spot was because consumers were holding off to purchase the anticipated iPhone 5 at the end of Q3. Apple shipped 6 million units of the iPhone 5 in Q3 of 2012 with very little time on market.
The total number of smartphones shipped in Q3 of 2012 added up to 167.8 million.

The Samsung Galaxy S III grew its market share significantly between Q2 of 2012 and Q3 growing from 3.5% to 10.7% of the global market. Comparatively, the iPhone 4S slipped from 12.7% of the market in Q2 of 2012 to 9.7%. The brand-new iPhone 5 grabbed 3.6% of the market.
However, the research firm expects the win for Samsung to be very short-lived. Strategy Analytics says that it expects the iPhone 5 to out ship the Galaxy S III in Q4 2012 allowing the iPhone to regain the title as the world's most popular smartphone.

Source: Strategy Analytics

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By hugo_stiglitz on 11/8/2012 1:34:19 PM , Rating: 2
Of course Apple will continue to remain extremely profitable for the foreseeable future. However, they ARE afraid of losing market share. What do you think will happen when iOS owns ~10% of the market and Android owns ~90%? Developers will be flocking to Android. Apple feels deja vu. Its happened to them before in the desktop PC space, they're deathly afraid of it happening to them again.

They're afraid because they know that the majority of the market is already choosing Android. They fear that without a ban on their competitor's products that they will be relegated to a minority in a market they once dominated.

Apple has three options to regain market dominance:
1) Come out with a revolutionary product
2) Out-innovate their competitors
3) Patent troll and try to ban the competition

Option 1 doesn't seem plausible without a visionary leader (such as the late Steven P. Jobs). They don't seem to be able to do option 2 and so they've selected option 3.

Sad, really (for consumers who aren't part of the iSheep collective).

By BabelHuber on 11/8/2012 3:49:45 PM , Rating: 2
Actually Apple has another option left:

Product diversification. Instead of selling only the iPhones 4/4S/5, what about a real midrange phone like the Samsung Galaxy Ace series? Or going even cheaper, down to the $200-range? Non-subsidized of course!

Of course you don't earn as much money with cheaper phones, but you get market share.

As you already have pointed out, if they continue with their strategy, they constantly will lose market share.

So either they come up with a new strategy for this changed environment, or they start their decline.

By simsony on 11/8/2012 5:43:48 PM , Rating: 2
Not really. Product SKU diversification will bludgeon their margins.

It is also not a practical option for the brand either.

By mattinv on 11/8/2012 5:45:29 PM , Rating: 2
Many people are hoping that Apple would come out with devices that would target the $200 and sub $200 market. This is just not going to happen, because it goes against Apple pricing politics and would actually alienate the Apple fan base. Furthermore, if you are invested in Apple, you are looking for Apple to maintain its profit margin, even if it means losing some market shares.
The same hold true about opening iOS to encourage wider adoption. It might seem like a necessary move to counter Android but it goes against the politic of the company.

Apple has proven that its fan base will carry it for a while, no matter what the competition comes up with. This is one of the main reason the Ipad mini has been priced so high in comparison to Nook and Nexus lines.

It is important to remember that even during its worst years, Apple maintained a politic of somewhat overpriced items and closed OS. Apple fan based has saved the company in the past, it will probably do it again.

By Noonecares on 11/8/2012 7:25:41 PM , Rating: 2
Apple's strength is in their marketing. They probably spend as much there as in their R & D. Yes, they do incremental increases on purpose. But it never stops people from lining up to get the latest. I personally will get a Note 2 in a couple of weeks. Big people need big phones. I believe that foxconn is having trouble producing iphone 5s.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
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