Samsung and Apple together accounted for 49.5% of smartphones shipped in the second quarter of 2012, according to figures released by IDC. And Samsung is some way ahead of Apple, shipping 50.2m smartphones in Q2 compared to Apple’s 26m iPhones. It’s then a big drop to Nokia’s 10.2m smartphone shipments (a 6.6% market share), then HTC (8.8m / 5.7%) and ZTE (8m / 5.2%).
What does all this mean for the music industry? The figures hammer home the point that Samsung is a force to be reckoned with in smartphones, making any preload deals and acquisitions that it makes in music (e.g mSpot, 7digital etc) more significant than ever.
Of course, Samsung’s smartphone growth is based on Android, so there are big opportunities here for Spotify, Deezer, Rhapsody, Rdio and the other streaming music services with Android apps too.
Look into IDC’s figures a little closer, though. The analyst says that 153.9m smartphones shipped in Q2, up 42.1% year-on-year. That’s actually the lowest growth rate since Q4 2009 – a year ago, the rate was 65.4%.
And if smartphone growth is slowing down, that means the current leaders (both for devices and operating systems – iOS and Android) will be harder to dislodge. Which in turn, may bring more emphasis on entertainment and content to differentiate handsets.