Samsung tops Apple's smartphone sales
Current market leader Samsung has also sold twice as many smartphones as its closest competitor in the third quarter of 2012.
Overall mobile phone shipments might be falling, but smartphone shipments are continuing to grow. A massive 155.5 million were shipped in the third quarter of 2012 alone, a 32.8 per cent year-on-year increase and most of these were from Samsung.
According to figures released Friday by ABI Research, Samsung, the South Korean technological powerhouse, is still the world's biggest mobile phone producer, shipping twice as many smartphones as Apple, its closest competitor.
If this trend continues, the premium smartphone market will be dominated by only two companies — Samsung and Apple.
Nokia's smartphone shipments have fallen 38 per cent to 6.3 million units over the last quarter (due in part to the fact that its current range of phones will not be upgraded to the Windows Phone 8 operating system), and RIM and HTC have both continued to struggle with year-on-year shipment declines of 37.2 and 54.6 per cent respectively.
Much of Samsung's dominance comes from the fact that it produces a range of handsets at each price point from low-cost to premium and this approach will keep it at the top for the foreseeable future.
"Most mobile phone subscribers around the world can't afford to spend more than $200 for a smartphone, on top of their service plans," noted Shawn Lee, Research Director at NPD DisplaySearch.
"Low-cost smartphone manufacturers create these new products quickly without much investment, which has allowed them to extend their telecom subscriber base to emerging regions."
This trend could also spell the end for Microsoft. Figures from the latest Gartner research, published on Wednesday, suggest that by 2016, Android will have surpassed Windows as the world's most popular operating system.