What does 47.8 million get Apple in Q4. It gives a market share of about 21%. Those who are playing along at home, will see that the math suddenly doesn't work out - yes, with this far smaller Quarterly sales by the second largest smartphone maker, I have now reduced my target for total global Q4 smartphone sales, from 240 million to 230 million. (and my annual number target is also now down to 710 million). But Apple is, as we already knew long ago, safely set as the second largest smarpthone maker in Q4 and for the full year 2012, the gaps to number 1 (Samsung) and number 3 (Huawei) are far too big to be caught up in just 3 months.
Apple Q4 sold 47.8 million iPhones, up 78% from Q3. Apple's smartphone market share (prelim) is about 21% for Q4, up from 15% in Q3. Apple did this with huge profits so its all good in that sense. The only 'disappointment' here is against expectations. In Q4 of the year before, 2011, Apple's Q4 market share was 23%. So we are now seeing the plateauing (or perhaps even slight decline) in Apple's peak market success with its 'one iPhone model released only per year' strategy. Its about time to expand the product line and start to offer new models at differing points of the year too. Obviously for Apple to gain market share, it needs a lower-cost iPhone as I've been arguing on this blog now for more than two years.
For the full year, Apple ends 2012 selling 135.8 million iPhones, up 46% from 2011. Apple's full year market share in smartphones is about 19%, which is the same as in 2011. Currently using the 710 million annual smartphone sales number as my target, Apple's market share would be 19.1% which is exactly same as in 2011. The smaller the total market number is, obviously, the bigger Apple's market share would become. But where is the 'decline' threshold? Its at 713 million. If our panel of industry experts arrives at a global smartphone market size of 712 million or less, then Apple will have flat market share, but if they find 713 million or more, then the iPhone's market share will have fallen by at least one tenth of one percent, ie to 19.0%. And the other way, for Apple to salvage 'growth' in market share for year 2012, they need the total global smartphone market to be 709 million or less (at 709 million, Apple's market shar would be 19.2% and they could claim a growth in market share).
What more? We don't count iPads nor iPod Touch devices in the smartphone market share and Bloodbath, so don't bother to write about that. We know, we know that for developers they are often part of the same ecosystem but in terms of measuring market share, we stick to the standard definitions here on this blog. Smartphones only, not 'Asha' featurephones by Nokia and not media players or tablet PCs. If it fits in your pocket - and it can receive a signal to alarm you for incoming calls or messages - then its a phone, else its some other digital gadget.
I'll be doing the full market report when all the numbers are in, in early February. And before that we still have Samsung to report, and we hope to get data on several other players. I will keep you posted. But yeah, good quarter, Apple, great growth, profitable highly desirable iPhones once again, but that market share is now dangerously at 'peak iPhone' stage, about time to bring those cheaper iPhone Nano models alongside the flagship device.
For those who need more info on the handset market, remember my TomiAhonen Phone Book 2012, 180 pages of stats, facts and charts, more data about smartphones and dumbphones and their operating systems, features, installed bases, market shares, regional markets, prices etc than you could shake a stick at...