Nokia, Samsung and Apple led mobile shipments in 2011

By on February 2, 2012, 12:00 PM

Nokia retained its title as the world's biggest mobile phone vendor in 2011, followed by Samsung and Apple, according to a report from market research firm IDC. Overall, the world mobile phone market grew by 6.1% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, which is faster than analysts had expected but slower compared to the third quarter and also compared to the average 11.1% growth for the whole year.

During the fourth quarter of the year, Nokia shipped 113.5 million handsets, down from 123.7 million during the same quarter a year ago. Samsung closed in shipping 97.6 million devices, up from 80.7 a year ago, and third-place Apple doubled its output from 16.2 million to 37 million during the quarter, pushing ahead of LG Electronics and Chinese vendor ZTE with 17.7 and 17.1, respectively.

Unsurprisingly, feature phones still make up the majority of shipments worldwide, which is largely how Nokia has managed to stay on top, relying heavily on Asia and South America. But consumer interest in feature phones is declining while cheap smartphones are beginning to make inroads in all markets.

Looking at the whole year Nokia conquered 27% of the market while Samsung holds a 21.3% share. With 93 million units shipped -- 37 million of which were sold in Q4 2011 alone -- Apple managed to grab 6% of the market. That's significantly behind the current leaders but it's no small feat considering the California-based firm only sells smartphones. They're probably not losing any sleep over this ranking either, given that the company still sucks up the majority of the world's mobile phone profits as it is.

Top Five Mobile Phone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q4 2011 (Units in Millions)

Vendor 4Q11 Unit Shipments 4Q11 Market Share 4Q10 Unit Shipments 4Q10 Market Share Year-over-year Change
Nokia 113.5 26.6% 123.7 30.7% -8.2%
Samsung 97.6 22.8% 80.7 20.0% 20.9%
Apple 37.0 8.7% 16.2 4.0% 128.4%
LG 17.7 4.1% 30.6 7.6% -42.2%
ZTE 17.1 4.0% 15.7 3.9% 8.9%
Others 144.5 33.8% 135.9 33.7% 6.3%
Total 427.4 100.0% 402.8 100.0% 6.1%

Top Five Mobile Phone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share Calendar Year 2011 (Units in Millions)

Vendor 2011 Unit Shipments 2011 Market Share 2010 Unit Shipments 2010 Market Share Year-over-year Change
Nokia 417.1 27.0% 453.0 32.6% -7.9%
Samsung 329.4 21.3% 280.2 20.1% 17.6%
Apple 93.2 6.0% 47.5 3.4% 96.2%
LG 88.1 5.7% 116.7 8.4% -24.5%
ZTE 66.1 4.3% 50.5 3.6% 30.9%
Others 552.1 35.7% 443.6 31.9% 24.5%
Total 1,546.0 100.0% 1,391.5 100.0% 11.1%

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