2012 isn’t over quite yet, but analyst firm iSuppli is already predicting a milestone moment for the mobile handset industry: Nokia being knocked off its perch as the world’s largest phone-maker.

iSuppli reckons that Samsung will take a 29% share of all phones (smart and not-smart) sold in 2012, ahead of Nokia’s 24%, with Apple (10%), ZTE (6%) and LG (4%) following behind. It’ll be the first time in 14 years that Nokia hasn’t been top of the table.

Samsung is also expected to be the top smartphone manufacturer in terms of shipments for 2012, taking a 28% market share ahead of Apple’s 20%, then 5% apiece for Nokia, HTC and RIM (BlackBerry). iSuppli expects 2013 to be a “significant tipping point” for smartphones, as they account for 56% of all handset sales.

Why is Music Ally writing about this? Well, it’s another reminder for 2013 that the music industry should be paying even more attention to Samsung and its digital media strategy – on its flagship Android smartphones, but also on its other handsets and platforms. The acquisition of mSpot and longstanding deals with 7digital have hinted at a wider strategy, but in 2013 we should see things knitting together a little more.

And Nokia? The company remains in a difficult transition from its historical Symbian smartphones to its Lumia Windows Phones, while also trying to maintain its low-end handset sales in emerging markets.

The impressive Mix Radio showed that Nokia’s appetite for digital music innovation wasn’t killed off by its Comes With Music experience, but 2013 will be a crucial year in determining the company’s long-term prospects.

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