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Global smartphone shipments reach record 700 million units in 2012

WASHINGTON – Global smartphone shipments grew 43 percent annually to reach a record 700 million units in 2012, with Samsung capturing 30 percent market share worldwide and extending its lead over Apple and others, research data showed Friday.

Research firm Strategy Analytics said Samsung shipped a record 213.0 million smartphones worldwide in 2012, which was the largest number of units ever shipped by a smartphone vendor in a single year, beating Nokia’s previous all-time record when it shipped 100. 1 million units during 2010. Despite tough competition in stores and courtrooms, Samsung continued to deliver numerous hit models, from the high-end Galaxy Note2 phablet to the mass-market Galaxy Y.

Apple grew a healthy 46 percent annually and shipped 135.8 million smartphones worldwide for 19 percent marketshare in 2012, broadly flat from the 19 percent level recorded in 2011. Apple had a strong year in developed regions like North America, but this was offset partly by its limited presence in high-growth emerging markets such as Africa.

“Samsung and Apple together accounted for half of all smartphones shipped worldwide in 2012,” said Linda Sui at Strategy Analytics. “Large marketing budgets, extensive distribution channels and attractive product portfolios have enabled Samsung and Apple to tighten their grip on the smartphone industry.”

Nokia retained its position as the world’s third largest smartphone vendor for full-year 2012, but its global marketshare has dropped sharply from 16 percent to five percent during the past year. (Xinhua)