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Apple® Still Reigns

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Apple had a record Q1 for fiscal year 2012 (the period between October and December 31, 2011), raking in $13.6 billion in profits. This was the highest Q1 for the company and even topped the most optimistic analyst’s estimates. The sales were driven by the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 sales. Sales of iPhones and iPads accounted for 73 percent of the company’s total income.

This is why it was so surprising that many analysts named Samsung the top smartphone vendor for 2011. One report estimated that Samsung shipped 95 million phones while Apple only shipped about 93 million.

A new report from Gartner, a research firm, postulates that Apple is in fact, still the reigning champion of the smartphone world. According to Gartner, Apple held an 18.9 percent market share while Samsung nipped at the company’s heels with an 18.5 percent share.

Samsung and Apple were neck and neck most of the year and, until the end of the year when Apple had its unbelievable windfall of sales and profits, Samsung appeared to be ready to eek out a victory for the year. Gartner attributes Apple’s 25th hour comeback to smart inventory and retail store management. Samsung ended up accruing some extra inventory in its warehouses.

Overall, smartphone sales were at 472 million. The fourth quarter accounted for about 34 percent of the year’s total sales.

Lagging far behind were LG, Motorola, Research in Motion and Sony Ericcson. These companies will have some serious catching up to do if they wish to cut into Apple and Samsung’s market share. Motorola has been especially busy, releasing its much-hyped Droid 4 on February 10 and the Razr Maxx back in January.

That leaves LG, Research in Motion and Sony to eat up the scraps. But it appears even the low-end and mid-range smartphones have a couple of new contenders in Huawei and ZTE, who both increased their market share in the fourth quarter.

Check out the iPhone 4s from AT&T


Feb at 7:01 PM

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