Marketing research firm IDC noted Thursday Feb. 21 that Samsung more than doubled the amount of tablets, smartphones, desktops and notebooks sold in 2012 compared to 2011 — soaring to 20.8 percent of the market share, up from 12.3 the year before. The Korean firm sold 250 million "smart connected devices," while Apple sold 218.7 million.
Both companies gained ground in 2012 compared to 2011, and IDC reports that demand for smartphones, tablets and PCs rose 29 percent last year. Apple was fifth overall in desktop sales, eighth for portable PCs, CNET reports.
Lenovo, HP and Dell, all with a market share in the single digits, round out the top five. Of the three, only Lenovo improved its performance from last year, mostly through its portable PC sales, while HP and Dell both lost ground.
Samsung edged out Apple (18.2 percent) in 2012 even though iPhone sales exceeded Samsung Galaxy S3 sales during the 2012 holiday period, and subsequently the fourth quarter. Conversely, while the Galaxy S3 had been on the market for nine months already by the time Q4 rolled around, the iPhone 5 launched at the start of it, stirring up significant interest and driving down the price of Apple's iPhone 4S.
Samsung's smartphone sales came in first for 2012 as a whole — but Apple still reigns supreme in the tablet department with its iPad and iPad mini.
The trend between 2011 and 2012 seems to be the shift toward tablets and smartphones, which made up 60 percent of total "connected device" sales. Tablet shipments increased 78 percent, while smartphones gained 46 percent. This is in line with predictions that the age of PCs and laptops is over; people are switching to lighter, more streamlined and connected options.
Despite Samsung's overall rise to prominence, it doesn't seem to be turning complacent anytime soon — rumors suggest the Galaxy S4 will be revealed at Samsung's March 14 event in New York City, a much-anticipated addition to the line of smartphones that first brought Samsung to the forefront of the mobile race.