SAN FRANCISCO—Apple Inc.'s iPhone captured 19.1 percent of the global smartphone market share in 2011, up from 16 percent in 2010, according to Canacorrd Genuity analyst Michael Walkley. Based on the timing of the iPhone 4S refresh in October, Walkley expects Apple to gain more market share in the first quarter of this year, when be projects iPhone's market share to be about 23.8 percent.
Google's Android operating system maintained its lead among smartphone OSes in the fourth quarter, with about 50 percent market share, down from 56 percent in the third quarter, according to Walkley.
Based on Apple's fourth quarter market share gains and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s strong gains within the Android smartphone market, Walkley estimates that the two companies combined to take roughly 95 percent of all smartphone profits in the fourth quarter.
Apple generated roughly 80 percent of all handset profits in the fourth quarter, despite having only 8.1 percent market share overall, according to Walkley. Apple's share of handset profits in the fourth quarter increased from 56 percent in the third quarter and 48 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, Walkley said.
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Samsung's share of overall handset profits declined to 15 percent in the fourth quarter, down from 26 percent in the third quarter of 2011, Walkley said. The firm's share of the Android smartphone market increased to 39 percent in the fourth quarter from 35 percent in the third quarter, he said.
"With RIM, Nokia, HTC, and Sony Ericsson all in the midst of product transitions and Motorola Mobility merging with Google, we believe Apple and Samsung will maintain dominant share positions during [the first half of 2012]," Walkley wrote. "Our January checks indicate Apple and Samsung trends remain strong versus competitors."
Walkley said that, based on fourth quarter earnings results from leading handset OEMs, Canaccord Genuity believes that global handset unit sales increased to 455 million units in the fourth quarter, up 13 percent from 402 million units in the third quarter. Smartphone sales increased 34 percent sequentially to 159 million units, according to the firm's estimates, largely because many consumers held off new purchases in the third quarter in anticipation of the new iPhone launch.
Canaccord Genuity projects that handset sales will decline 17 percent sequentially in the first quarter to 377 million units. Smartphone sales are expected to decline 14 percent sequentially to 137 million units in the first quarter, according to the firm. The company expects overall handset sales to grow 3 to 4 percent in both 2012 and 2013.
Both Android and Applie's iOS increased market share in the fourth quarter, according to Canaccord Genuity. Android's share in smartphones increased to 48.4 percent in 2011, up from 22.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, the firm said. Apple's iOS grew to 19.1 percent of the market in 2011, up from 16 percent in 2010, the first said.
Combined, Android and iOS accounted for 73.4 percent of all smartphones OSes in the fourth quarter of 2011, up from 70.5 percent in the third quarter, Walkely wrote.
"Our checks indicate the smartphone market is increasingly dominated by two different ecosystems with iOS on the one end of the spectrum with its closed ecosystem and Google’s Android OS with its open ecosystem on the other end," Walkley wrote.
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